By Jay Oakley
Wednesday 13 has always been know for albums dealing with death, dying and the dead. Coming off his last album and first concept album, Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out And Plague, Wednesday brings us Condolences via Nuclear Blast Records. Wednesday has delivered his darkest and heaviest album to date.
The record kicks off with "Last Rites," an eerie introduction that sets the tone. "What The Night Brings" has a slower but sinister delivery. A very guitar forward track with a memorable, repeating riff that feels like it's right out of a horror movie. "Cadaverous" contains a touch of the traditional Wednesday flavor. The bridge has an upbeat, drum driven sound that pushes the lyrics forward and makes you want to click the volume up a few more notches. "Blood Sick" is a smoother track. While it still has all of the same aggression it has a more stylized delivery. It comes across a little lighter but with a chilling feel in the lyrics. "Good Riddance" is the closest you'll get to a ballad from Wednesday 13. A toned down track that focuses of the vocal delivery and drums. "You Breathe, I Kill" is the song that you would send to your enemy. A heavy, dark track that puts right out in the open what you would do to someone you less then favor. Fans of Wednesday's classic hit "Bad Things" will love this song. "Omen Amen" is one of the standout tracks on the record. Guitar driven but is really highlighted by the bass. It comes pounding through in a way that ups Wednesday's vocal delivery and makes for a faster song. "Cruel To You" is another one of those feel good tracks about hurting someone. Wednesday has a style, no doubt about that. The best thing about this song is the duel guitar attack of Roman Surman and Jack Tankersley come out very strong and dominate the track. "Eulogy XIII" is basically the intermission. A creepy song that repeatedly says 13. "Prey For Me" returns to the black metal sound that is a theme of the record. Deeper, throatier vocals compliment the guitar foundation for the song. "Lonesome Road To Hell" shows the fan the older Wednesday sound is not dead, just evolving. A punkier song with guitar and bass emphasis. The title track "Condolences" is the slowest song on the record. It has much more of a "storytelling" feel to it. Think campfires with a guitar and a splatter of blood. "Death Infidelity" brings the record to a close. Similar to "Condolences" it has a slower feel but is much more instrument driven. The guitars make for a dark, aggressive track but the song as a whole bookends the album well with "Last Rites." It keeps the theme of the record in the forefront of you mind and makes you think about the next chapter.
The most important thing about this record is the evolution of Wednesday 13. We've grown accustomed his style of horror infused punk and metal. But, this is a whole different side. Much deeper, harder, heavier and darker. Strap yourself in for the ride.