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HMS Music Spotlight

Horror and metal are two unique genres that fit together so comfortably; fist pumping and bloodletting comes to mind, as does grotesque imagery and the cacophony of the guitar. In that sense the genres are entwined to give horror fans and metal fans a chance to combine their listening and viewing habits. Obviously, HMS was founded on this very same platform and one of the early bands discovered by our music staff was Prowler.

Prowler is a three piece metal band hailing from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that craft songs around horror movies. They’ve had two previous releases (After You and the New Blood) come out on Slaney Records and now they are set to bring a third slab of new songs called From the Shadows.

This latest outing is a real treat for these well trained ears and being a huge horror fan, I was immediately excited about the band’s choice of song selection. Frontman Patrick Best knows his horror history frontwards and backwards; often picking films that many horror fans adore. This time around the band dipped into the Universal crypt for inspiration and in addition tapping some of Stephen King’s most beloved film adaptations to give this release a huge bang for your buck.

We open with “R.O.T.L.D.” and it begins with samples of Frank (James Karen) revealing to Freddy (Thom Mathews) the dreaded secrets of how the dead came back to life. Then the meaty riffs kick in and we’re off to the races. The gang vocals coupled with Patrick’s patented snarl (think James Hetfield) help to make this the catchiest number on the disc. Next we get “Out of the Fog” based on John Carpenter’s The Fog and this gets the blood pumping with some infectious thrash grooves. Again, this is a catchy number that stylistically follows the opening track perfectly.

Now we get to my favorite song on this album and the boys dip into the Universal vaults to bring us “I am Wolf” based on the classic Wolfman. I love how the movie samples start us off with Claude Rains reciting that poem about the werewolf before the thrash grooves assault your ears. Patrick’s vocals are superb here; often raspy sounding and feeling tortured just like poor Lon Chaney. Next the ominous drum beats and melodic guitar tones start us off for “The Thing Not Seen” another Carpenter film considered a classic 80’s horror movie. The riffs are shrilling and the thick bass really drive this number and I did like how the movie samples were slotted in.

From The Shadows
(Slaney Records)
Written by: Kenneth Gallant
9 out of 10

The next track is a curious one because they elect to cover “Pet Cemetary” from the Ramones, but shoot for a quicker pace than the original. I’m torn here simply because I love the original song, so it’s taking some time to adjust to the stylistic change. This is probably not my favorite song here to be perfectly honest, but they do follow this up nicely with “Return to the Lot” based on King’s Salem’s Lot. Again the movie samples are placed timely throughout the song and the galloping chug of the riffs really drives this for me. For some reason I’m reminded of early Metallica here, but that’s not a bad thing at all!

The remaining two tracks are crafted to perfection and I must say both numbers will ultimately end up being crowd pleasers in a live setting. The band continues the Stephen King worship with “Death on Wheels” an ode to Carpenter’s Christine. This is a speedy little ditty that keeps the momentum going full throttle and leads expertly into the final song “Creature of the Black”. I think by now you can guess what the title of this closing song is in reference to and it’s another brilliant pick as far as I am concerned. The Creature of the Black Lagoon is my second favorite Universal feature next to the Wolfman, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this on the record.

Overall though, Prowler has fine-tuned their sound with this release. We know what to expect and know that the style of groove and thrash metal blend so well on this record. Patrick’s lyrics are bang on and his cohorts Jak Sumwalt (drums) and Shawn Bruce (bass) work well with their leading frontman to make this third outing a rip-roaring affair. I for one champion Prowler as the world’s true horror/metal band and I dare anyone to challenge me on this with another band; it just simply won’t happen.

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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