After letting four years pass without releasing any new material, New Jersey’s own Johnny B. Morbid have returned with their fifth studio album, Welcome To Die! The horror punk band, which has gone through a series of member changes since their formation in 2005, have finally settled down as a trio, consisting of frontman Johnny B. Morbid, guitarist Count Vlad Cadmus, and drummer Archie Pain.

The record is laden with dark imagery, staying true to their horror punk roots. However, there is a variety of musical stylings throughout the disc, even featuring the purely acoustic “Last Day Alive,” which serves as a calm interlude from the otherwise animated tracklist. The 12-song LP seems to get heavier as it progresses, and the latter half of the album is where the gems are. Songs such as “Stockholm” and “Sincerely, Gabriel,” which feature enjoyable guitar solos, are definitely more influenced by metal than many of the other tracks. “Death Undefeated” sticks out as one of their best, starting off with a tight drum solo before adding catchy yet eerie guitars to the mix.

The band chose to close Welcome To Die! with a medley of classics like “Rock & Roll Pt. 2” by Gary Glitter and “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, which is disappointing. It would have provided more closure to the disc to end it on a high note of original work. “Erebus,” the last original song, would have done this nicely. Otherwise, the record is put together well and is musically sound, staying consistent with what they have produced in the past.

In A Word: Fun

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