'Damnation's Embrace' Review
Listen up Deadites! Gruesome Joe here with the latest installment of the Musical Morgue right here on Rotting Flesh Radio.
So I’ve been chilling out here in the Morgue, listening to some new stuff here and there—but this week’s pick is HOT off the press, having just debuted a week and change ago at HauntCon 2009. We’re talking about the brand new album by the Haunt Rocker himself—Jerry Vayne. The CD is entitled Damnation’s Embrace, and marks Jerry’s first full-length album of music specifically for within the haunt industry realm.
Now, Jerry isn’t a new name to those of you who frequent Rotting Flesh Radio. He contributed the title track on Rotting Flesh Radio’s last CD Dark Pandemonium: A Descent into the Labyrinth of the Mind as well as the track “Zombie Stomp” for the album. He’s a voice you’ve come to know, representing Rotting Flesh Radio on the Western most reaches of the States. And his latest music here is sure to become a favorite of most everyone in the haunt industry.
Right out of the gate, I have to say that this album ROCKS! Damnation’s Embrace is going to be a perfect album for anyone who works in the haunted attraction industry. The album, having been produced by Jonathan Johnson of RFR and Jerry Vayne, has been created with a dual usefulness—the album not only can stand on its own as a great collection of music with a great accompanying storyline, but in addition, the tracks on the album are royalty free and can be used at your haunted attraction or event—all you have to do is register your haunt/event/etc with Jerry. The concept is that it was made for haunted attractions that are looking for a heavier, more rock and roll edge to the music within their haunt (which it certainly achieves)—but the album, musically, can stand on its own. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Damnation’s Embrace is 18 tracks of metal madness intertwined with some superbly mixed ambient tracks that sweep you along the storyline of Lucas—an adventurous youth who wanders across an abandoned circus only to find the tents sit atop a clan of bad ass vampires who need a sacrifice to be set free. 16 of the album’s tracks are brand new and follow this storyline, with the last two songs on the album being completely remixed alternative versions of both “Dark Pandemonium” and “Zombie Stomp.”
I personally like the balance of slow and fast songs Jerry has composed and the order in which they’ve been arranged. The album really gets going with “Cirque De Diablo.”
(“Cirque De Diablo” short clip)
And is then quickly followed up with the hypnotic “Midnight’s Entanglement.”
(“Midnight’s Entanglement” short clip)
Just hearing those two clips gives you a good idea as to how this album would be great for use within a haunted attraction. The all-instrumental tracks each have a very distinct tone and flavor and would really add to a scene or collection of rooms in your attraction.
The next couple tracks “Cavern of Shadows” and “Blood Ritual” offer a really nice underlying ambience with very eerie and dissonant guitar workings. Just listening to them paints vivid pictures in your mind of tribal madness, suspense and danger.
(“Blood Ritual” clip)
The next several tracks change up tempos from high to low and feature fast guitar solos and plenty of ambient noise and mixed in sounds. It is at this point in the story that Lucas has become trapped by the vampires and discovers he is to be the main course of their feast. So naturally, the music sweeps from slow, fearful and tremulous guitar melodies to full fledged, fast paced rock.
Vayne then changes things up a bit with the 9th track of the album “Penance.” This song in particular stood out to me because it starts off in a similar vein as “Death’s Goodbye” but then quickly takes a turn and becomes, in my opinion, one of the best tracks musically on the album. The guitar styling is very full of despair and longing for the first couple minutes, and then quickly becomes an epic choir of soaring guitars crescendoing to a joyous peak.
The next several tracks of the album are perfect combinations of styles of songs Vayne has created for the album—on one side, they are perfectly suited to be in haunted attractions—such as with “Atonement…”
(“Atonement” short clip)
But these songs also possess the power and musical complexity such as that found in “Penance” earlier on the CD. The track “Moonlight’s Lament” is a great example of this.
(“Moonlight’s Lament” short clip)
The album then closes with the very ambient track “Looking Glass” that features subtly mixed in fractions and pieces of songs previously appearing on the album, and is then wrapped with the triumphantly evil closer—“Damnation’s Embrace.”
(“Damnation’s Embrace” short clip then goes to underscoring)
Overall, Damnation’s Embrace gets two bloody stumps enthusiastically up for being both a great CD to be used in a haunt or event, and as a great standalone piece of good guitar based rock. Vayne has done a very good job with creating various moods and feelings with his compositions in a hard rock style that would certainly add a new feel to any attraction, or would just make a great album to spin in your workshop while you’re crafting your latest animatronics and set pieces.
You can purchase a copy of Damnation’s Embrace for just $12 plus shipping by going to JerryVayne.com. You can also email Jerry from the website to register the album to be used at your haunt or event, and even to hire Jerry on to do some custom work for your project/video/commercial—whatever you have that would need some great music. You can also find the full-length short story for the album online as well. Again—that’s JerryVayne.com.
Damnation’s Embrace will also be available at the Midwest Haunters Convention on the tradeshow floor June 6 and 7, exclusively at the Rotting Flesh Radio booth. Come by and chat with Jonathan and the RFR crew, and be sure to purchase your copy of the album if you haven’t already done so by then.
Well Deadites, that about does it for this week here in the Musical Morgue. Be sure to tune in next time when we’ll have more great tunes I’m sure you’ll want to add to your collection. Until then, I’m Gruesome Joe and I’ll be chilling out here in the Morgue, waiting for you, until next time…