October 30, 2020 Ice Nine Kills – I Heard They KILL Live! (Live Album Review)
Horror and Rock music have gone hand-in-hand with each other for years now. Especially within the realm of Slasher films, which have almost always preyed upon the notion of ‘sex, drugs, and Rock-n-Roll’ being met with a bloody end at the hands of masked killers and deranged madmen. Ice Nine Kills has always been a band that possesses the ability to perfectly blend those two worlds in their art. With the use of costumes, skits, backdrops and more, Ice Nine Kills’ live shows are always a horrifying spectacle creating a musical experience unlike any other.
Now, with no live concerts going on anytime soon here in the USA, Ice Nine Kills have decided to put out a their first ever full-length live album, I Heard They KILL Live!, via Fearless Records on Friday, October 30, 2020
Just in time for Halloween, the songs were recorded at their sold-out hometown show at the Worcester Palladium on November 30, 2019 during the Octane Accelerator tour. Nineteen tracks in total, it covers past albums all the way up to their last full-length, The Silver Scream, released back in 2018. Available to order digitally or as a double vinyl LP coupled with a variety of merch bundles, they also released a live video shot at the show of their single “Stabbing In The Dark,” a song inspired by the 1978 John Carpenter film Halloween.
So why record the show at the Worcester Palladium? Simple, it has a lot of personal meaning to Vocalist Spencer Charnas. Reflecting back, on September 22, 2000, Charnas attended a Goldfinger/Mest concert at the Palladium. He said, “I knew after that incredibly high-energy show that I wanted to dedicate my life to writing and performing my own music. One year later, INK’s first show would take place on the very same stage at a battle of the bands that we did not win. The concert is pictured in this album insert. 18 years later we sold out the very same 3,000 capacity venue and recorded this live album there—a full circle moment that I will never forget. This album is dedicated to the INK psychos who allow us to make murder and mayhem an actual career.”
This insight in mind, I Heard They KILL Live! plays out like one of Ice Nine Kill’s shows, full of theatricality and energy. The minute the first track plays you hear campy intro music saying “Let’s all go to the lobby,” setting the scene for the horrifying display that is about to take place. Kicking things off with “Thank God It’s Friday” inspired by 1980’s Friday the 13th, the album also features many of the Horror-inspired songs that graced The Silver Scream. This includes “Savages” inspired by 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, “The World In My Hands” inspired by 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, and “Love Bites” inspired by 1981’s An American Werewolf in London.
The album also includes the equally creepy cuts from 2015’s Every Trick In The Book, where each track was based on different novels like “Communion Of The Cursed” based on William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist (1971), “Tess-timony” based on Thomas Hardy’s Tess Of The d’Urbervilles (1891), and “Hell In The Hallways” based on Stephen King’s Carrie (1974). Also, on the album are bonus tracks like the recently released Scream-inspired “Your Number’s Up” and their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Long-time fans of the band will also be pleased to see “The Fastest Way To a Girl’s Heart Is Through Her Ribcage” on the set list since it has always been one of the most requested songs the band receives.
Closing things out with the appropriately titled “IT Is The End” inspired by Stephen King’s It (1986), it is the perfect encore song with a haunting mantra “we all float down here” fading out while the fans continue to scream along with the band.
In addition to the new live album, Ice Nine Kills fans also have the opportunity to grab a Record Store Day exclusive; The Silver Scream: Killer Cuts, a 10” vinyl that features 6 tracks on a blood-splattered, buzz saw shaped vinyl. And speaking of live shows, Ice Nine Kills announced another surprise for fans – an exclusive broadcast event titled The Silver Stream. Premiering on October 30th, fans could experience an interactive live stream of the full concert at the Worcester Palladium paired with a mini Horror movie experience hosted by Horror icon Bill Mosesley. The stream also included a special ‘RIP’ experience where fans could join the band on Zoom for a Q & A after the show.
With plenty of content in place, I Heard They KILL Live! is a full experience, capturing all the energy of the band and the audience’s reactions creating an immersive emotion. One of the best elements of the live album is the layered voices and harmonies that you can only truly get at a live show. The perfect live album for any Ice Nine Kills fan, Cryptic Rock gives I Heard They KILL Live! 5 out of 5 stars.