MUSIC REVIEW: THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE-FASCINATION (2022)

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THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE-FASCINATION (2022)

The Birthday Massacre are a cult favorite band and they have released their latest album, Fascination, two years after 2020’s awesome Diamonds and it is their eight studio album, not counting their live album Show and Tell. The Canadian Goth rockers lead by front-woman Sara “Chibi” Taylor deliver nine solid tunes in the Birthday Massacre tradition that should delight their loyal fans. This newest album is named after the first track on the disc, a moody and melodic song about love and life lessons learned. As with all their tunes, the guitars and keyboards are well-mixed to create their signature sound. Once again this is a consistent album and while each song is worthy of being a favorite, some stand-out tunes are “Cold Lights”, “One More Time”, and personal favorite “Like Fear, Like Love”. The songs are produced by band members Michael Rainbow, Michael Falcore, and Brett Carruthers, who co-wrote them along with lead singer Chibi. The songs are filled with darkly poetic lyrics, that not only tell somber tales of lost love, inner turmoil and other subjects but also evoke haunting imagery when listened to. Chibi’s vocal range is used to full effect, as always, taking us from soulful, to haunting, to melodic depending on what the songs are trying to say. Her musicians’ contributions are all strongly present with the current line-up: Rainbow on rhythm guitar and vocals, Falcore on lead guitars, Phil Elliot on Drums, Owen Mackinder on keyboards and Brett “Bat’ Carruthers on bass. All great musicians who collaborate to form this gothic/rock band’s unique and multi-layered sound that has satisfied fans for literally twenty years! Another solid disc from a band who have delivered original eight albums with not one bad song amongst them. They are also great live, if you are interested in checking them out, and it’s recommended you do!

-MonsterZero NJ

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Photo: The Birthday Massacre

Track Listing

1.”Fascination” 5:05

2.”Dreams of You” 3:24

3.”Cold Lights” 4:19

4.”Stars and Satellites” 4:16

5. “One More Time” 4:36

6.”Like fear, Like Love” 4:26

7.”Once Again” 3:59

8.”Precious Hearts” 4:27

9.”The End of All Stories” 4:23

3 and 1/2 guitars

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Check out my review for Sara “Chibi” Taylor’s tale of death metal and revenge Boring Girls by clicking on the highlighted title or the photo below!

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-MonsterZero NJ

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MUSIC REVIEW: THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE-UNDER YOUR SPELL (2017)

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THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE-UNDER YOUR SPELL (2017)

The Birthday Massacre is one of my favorite bands and they have released their latest album, Under Your Spell, three years after 2014’s awesome Superstition and it is another solid album from a band that have yet to disappoint. The Canadian Goth rockers lead by front woman…and now, author…Sara “Chibi” Taylor deliver 11 solid tunes in the Birthday Massacre style that should delight their fans just as the previous album did. This album is named after the second track on the disc, a beautiful and melodic song about a painful love and the regret that comes with it. It is one of the best tunes on a consistently engaging album. The album starts out with the moody One before giving us our title song and then moves on to the slightly more guitar heavy All Of Nothing before launching into the remaining tunes. While each song is worthy of being a favorite, other stand-out tunes are Counterpane, Games, Hex, No Tomorrow and the final track Endless, another personal favorite on this album and a great way to close it out. The songs are once again produced by band members Rainbow and Michael Falcore, who co-wrote them along with Chibi and Aaron J. Cunningham with Matthew O’Halloran contributing as well. The songs are filled with darkly poetic lyrics, such as “A bed of nails beneath these sheets” and “You were like a dream because you never came true”, that not only tell a somber tale but evoke haunting imagery when listened to with the lights dimmed and the mind free of distraction. Chibi’s vocal range is used to full effect again taking us from soulful, to haunting, to a chilling growl…like on No Tomorrow…depending on what she needs to convey. Her musicians’ contributions are all strongly present with current line-up: Rainbow on rhythm guitar and vocals, M. Falcore on lead guitars, Rhim on Drums, Owen on keyboards and Nate Manor on bass. All first-rate musicians who collaborate to form this gothic/rock band’s unique and multi-layered sound that once again permeates Under Your Spell. Another quality disc from a band who have, so far, delivered on each album they’ve released…and are great live, if you are interested in checking them out!

-MonsterZero NJ

Track Listing

1.”One”  3:35

2.”Under Your Spell”  4:31

3.”All Of Nothing”  3:31

4.”Without You”  4:42

5.”Counterpane”  3:32

6.”Unkind”  3:56

7.”Games”  3:40

8.”Hex”  3:37

9.”No Tomorrow”  3:20

10.”The Lowest Low”  3:54

11. “Endless” 3:14

3 and 1/2 guitars

guitar rating

The Birthday Massacre

Check out my review for Sara “Chibi” Taylor’s tale of death metal and revenge Boring Girls by clicking on the highlighted title or the photo below!

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BOOK REVIEW: BORING GIRLS by SARA TAYLOR

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Occasionally at The Movie Madhouse I do crank out a book review if it’s something I think warrants attention. As this particular book is written by the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, The Birthday Massacre and since I’ve reviewed their music here before, why not Sara “Chibi” Taylor’s first book…

BORING GIRLS by SARA TAYLOR

Impressive debut book by Sara Taylor, who as “Chibi” is lead singer of The Birthday Massacre, a great goth/industrial band from Canada. Sara uses her song writing skills combined with her music business experiences to craft an engrossing tale of Rachel, a teen who finds expression through music and then, sadly, violence. Rachel is a shy introvert who finds her voice figuratively and literally when she discovers a love for death metal music and a bit of a soul mate in new friend Fern. Together they form the band Colostomy Hag and begin to pursue their dream of fame, fortune and succeeding where few women have before. But a horrible turn of events after going backstage with a band they idolize, shatters their worlds and leads them down a path of murder and gruesome revenge.

Taylor has always had a gift for poetic yet, dark lyrics and that translates wonderfully from songs to story-form. Her descriptions are vivid and her prose does flow like the lyrics to a 384 page Gothic opera. The things that make this tragic tale work so well, though, is that she creates realistic, engaging and delightfully original characters and takes them on a journey that slowly gets more and more twisted as it goes on. We like our lead Rachel. She’s shy but spirited at first and then discovers a way to express and defend herself and it’s just an unfortunate encounter that changes her path from one of possible fame and success to one of bloodshed and vengeance. If this book was about a girl and her band alone, I would still have enjoyed it immensely, but Taylor gives it a twisted twist and takes her lead character and best friend on a path that ruins their lives in more ways than one. It’s heartbreaking, as when she begins her spiral into homicidal behavior…even though it’s somewhat understandable…we still feel for Rachel and don’t want to see her turn into the person she is becoming. The book also offers a dark glimpse into what may occur behind closed doors in the music business and it causes us to continue to sympathize with Rachel…and Fern…despite their increasingly cruel behavior. A very involving, bold and engrossing read by a talented songwriter who is now a talented novelist. Highly recommended for something a bit off the beaten path told with a unique voice.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 and 1/2 guitars!

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MUSIC REVIEW: THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE-SUPERSTITION (2014)

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THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE-SUPERSTITION (2014)

The Birthday Massacre is one of my favorite bands and that they tour constantly and prolifically put out new material is a fan’s dream… and the fact that their albums are of consistent quality is an added bonus and their new release Superstition is no different. This is a really strong new album from a bad that have yet to disappoint me. Here the Canadian band led by front-woman Chibi deliver 10 solid tunes in the Birthday Massacre style of goth/industrial rock that will delight their fans and listeners of this predominately underground style of music. The album starts out with the moody yet melodic Divide and Diaries then really kicks in gear with the more intense Superstition, Destroyer and Surrender before finishing up the album with 5 more quality tunes with a nice mix of tempos and synthesizer heavy songs including the melodic Rain and the intense and dark The Other Side which is my favorite song on the disc. The songs are all expertly produced with Chibi’s vocals going from sweet and soft to a hearty growl depending on the requirements of the song and it’s Gothic-ly flavored lyrics. With rock-solid production, the band’s contributions are all mixed to perfection as usual… and as for Miss Chibi’s back-up, we have current line-up: Rainbow on guitars and vocals, M. Falcore also on Guitars, Rhim on Drums, Owen on keyboards and Nate Manor on bass. All excellent musicians that contribute to TBM’s unique and multi-layered sound that really comes to bare on this, one of their best albums yet. Another great disc of tunes from a band who is consistently topping themselves.

Track Listing

1.”Divide”  4:04

2.”Diaries”  3:33

3.”Superstition”  3:52

4.”Destroyer”  3:43

5.”Surrender”  5:18

6.”Oceania”  4:11

7.”Rain”  3:46

8.”Beyond”  3:52

9.”The Other Side”  4:31

10.”Trinity”  2:24

3 and 1/2 guitars

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