Heads For the Dead – Slash ‘n’ Roll
Reviewed: October 2021
Released: 2021, Transcending Obscurity Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
At the time of my typing these words, we’re exactly 30 days from Halloween 2021. Which makes Heads For The Dead’s latest EP SLASH ‘N’ ROLL surprisingly timely. Stewarded by Wombbath frontman/multi-instrumentalist Jonny Pettersson and rounded out by ex-Gorefest drummer Ed Warby and Revel in Flesh’s Ralf Hauber, SLASH ‘N’ ROLL is the perfect bite sized soundtrack for your horror-fied listening pleasure.
Like peanut butter and chocolate, SLASH ‘N’ BURN combines 2 of my favorite things – horror movies and HM2 d-beat Swedish death metal. Featuring 3 original re-imaginings of classic horror themes and a pair of totally applicable covers, Heads For The Dead clearly knows their target audience. “Maniac”, “Halloween”, and “The Thing” each include some kind of acknowledgment of their namesake flicks and insert the general plot into the music and lyrics of said tunes. If old school retro Swedish death metal wasn’t great already, riffing around the likes of Michael Myers and RJ MacReady certainly makes it so.
And the punk covers are pretty serviceable as well. Misfits are an easy target for death metal cover tunes and “Skulls” is public enemy #1, but HFTD’s take on the song turns it into more of a mid-tempo death metal tune with lyrics borrowed from Glenn Danzig versus the usual death metal band playing sloppy punk rock. Much can be said about their take on “Pet Semetary”; the way the band unpacks the melody line of the original into thundering caveman riffs makes the song hit a whole new way, and their take on the chorus sounds arguably more punk than the Ramones did.
SLASH ‘N’ ROLL is a death metal love letter to 80’s horror and a catchy platter of tunes. There’s probably a dissertation’s worth of material out there about why death metal and horror movies work so well together, but the short version is “they just do.” SLASH ‘N’ ROLL proves that horror is always in season, and that you should be listening to Heads For The Dead.