NIGHT OF SAMHAIN – MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET (MUSIC REVIEW)
• RELEASE DATE: Available Now on CD
A while ago, Hydraulic Entertainment released a split album entitledZOMBIES UNITE featuring a collection of songs recorded by Russian horror rock outfit Night of Samhain—containing the tracks in their original format as well as re-recorded versions by punk rock legend Michale Graves. Well, ol’ N.O.S. are back with MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET, a new collection of terror tunes, and let me tell ya, these dudes are a gaggle o’ ghouls to keep an eerie eyeball on… or maybe an eerie ear hole would be more accurate!
Spread out over 10 tracks, Night of Samhain once again prove that they are worthy successors to the style popularized by Graves’ time in The Misfits—namely riff-laden metal guitars played over punchy drums with clean, almost pop-punk style vocals that weave yarns of monsters and madmen. It’s a really irresistible combo for me, and I can guarantee if ya dig on releases like Graves‘ own LOST SKELETON RETURNS (speaking of ol’ monster Michale, he contributes guest vocals for a track on this album called Eternal Evil) this will be a disc that racks up many a spin!
I also must call attention to the fact that N.O.S. experiment a bit on this one with some sonics not often found in the horror punk genre (keyboards and even whistling!) that offer some nice layers and a bit of unexpected surprise to listeners that may have thought this was going to be all graveyard fury and beastly bombast. I hope on future releases they head even further in these types of unique directions, as I feel it will really put them ahead of the game and make them an even stronger musical force to be reckoned with!
• RELEASE DATE: In Theaters and on VOD January 8th
• WRITTEN BY: Brendan McCarthy
• DIRECTED BY: David Keating
• STARRING: Naomi Battrick, Anna Walton, Patrick Gibson, Sam Hazeldine
For some reason I dig flicks about covens o’ witches up to the devil’s business, but for the most part, filmmakers have nearly abandoned this lil’ subgenre. Well, there’s at least one new fright flick on the way that features a whole slew o’ them witchy women, and it goes by the name of CHERRY TREE.
A young lady by the name of Faith (Battrick) is havin’ one hell of a rough time; her father is terminally ill and she’s constantly bullied by her field hockey teammates. When Sissy (Walton), a new coach for the team, arrives on the scene, Faith finds herself a nice mother surrogate. Too bad she’s a witch that feeds the roots of a cherry tree with blood from human victims (ain’t that always the way?). Well before you know it, Sissy offers to cure Faith’s father in exchange for Faith makin’ her some baby meat… a baby that grows at a ridiculously accelerated pace. You can surely surmise that the planned outcome of this ain’t gonna be good for anybody. Well, anybody save the witches, that is.
Filled to the brim with arcane blood and bug-ensconced ceremonies, mounting tension, and arty flair, CHERRY TREE is a winner in my book! A lot of the film feels like a throwback to Occult shockers of yore such as THE WICKER MAN and TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER, with a dollop of the Eurosleaze of Jess Franco. It’s dark with just the right amount of “ick” that manages to move along with its own dream logic—not an easy balance to achieve.
If you dug flicks like LORDS OF SALEM, HORSEHEAD, or the others mentioned above, I think you’ll easily pick up what CHERRY TREE is laying down. Stylish, sickening, and a whole basket of crazy, CHERRY TREE is a great start to this year’s horror biz!