About Macabre

A long-running extreme metal group with a lurid obsession for serial killers and gore-splattered true crime, the aptly named Macabre emerged in the late '80s with a sound steeped in thrash, death metal, and grindcore that they lovingly called "murder metal." Though Macabre was one of the first bands ever to experiment with the themes and songwriting that would eventually become widely known as death metal, the group remained primarily an underground entity. In the early '90s they garnered considerable acclaim from the extreme metal community for their Sinister Slaughter album, and they cemented their cult status well into the next century with conceptual pieces based on the likes Jeffrey Dahmer, Marc Lepine, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy.

Forming in 1985, before death metal and grindcore even existed, Macabre — Nefarious (bass/vocals), Corporate Death (guitar/vocals), and Dennis the Menace (drums) — quickly developed a following with their extreme heavy metal, which they eventually dubbed "murder metal." The group's first release, Grim Reality, originally came out in 1987 and was followed a year later by Shit List Demo, which contained both studio and live tracks. In 1989, the band started to attain global acclaim with Gloom, an album that had full European distribution thanks to its release on Vinyl Solutions (it was first released as a split album with the Grim Reality LP in 1990 and was later remastered, repackaged, and re-released in 1998 by Decomposed Records). Due to the interest sparked by Gloom, the music that had originally appeared on Shit List Demo in 1988 was then re-released with a limited edition of only 666 copies by Germany's Gore Records. Macabre then released the Night Stalker 7" on high-profile U.S. label Relapse and signed to another high-profile death metal label, Nuclear Blast, in 1992, which released their most-recognized and well-known effort to date, Sinister Slaughter, which bases each of its songs on different psychopaths. Following the acclaim of that album, the group toured the world for most of 1994 and released the Behind the Wall of Sleep EP in 1995. After a few years of on-and-off activity without any releases, but with the band experimenting with satirical "unplugged" shows, Macabre returned in 1999 with the Unabomber EP on Decomposed Records, which featured alternate versions of tracks from their then-unreleased Dahmer album, and some out-of-print tracks from the Grim Reality album. In 2000, seven years after the success of Sinister Slaughter, Nuclear Blast re-released the classic album with the Behind the Wall of Sleep EP as a bonus, and the group finally unveiled their long-awaited Dahmer album, featuring production by respected producer Neil Kernon. Given the album's Grammy-winning producer and an ambition to create a concept album that almost plays like a musical, Dahmer again renewed interest in the band.

2002 marked the recorded debut of the group's alter ego, Macabre Minstrels. The resulting EP, Morbid Campfire Songs, featured acoustic singalongs that more than lived up to its title. Once again operating under the Macabre moniker, the band issued the full-length Murder Metal in 2003, with the concert film Tales of True Slaughter & Slaying arriving in 2006. The band looked deeper into the history of violence and bloodshed on 2011's Grim Scary Tales, which shifted focus from 20th century horrors to ancient killers like Vlad the Impaler, Nero, and Countess Bathory. Nearly a decade passed before the band's next full-length effort, 2020's Carnival of Killers, which was released just in time to coincide with their 35th anniversary. ~ Jason Birchmeier & James Christopher Monger, Rovi

    Chicago, IL

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