"III: They Call Us Death" (Spookshow; 2010)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Calabrese have certainly kicked it up a notch with "III: They Call Us Death."

Taking the horror punk sound they so soundly demonstrated on previous albums (like "The Traveling Vampire Show," reviewed below) and adding a decisively harder edge, Calabrese have delivered an album that falls somewhere between the Misfits and Iron Maiden, if you can believe it. Lighter on the punk rock three chord simplicity and heavier with galloping guitars, driving bass and thunderous drums, "III: They Call Us Death" kicks serious ass from the first track to the last , yet never completely abandons the band's trademark horror punk style.

Tracks like the barely in control "Blood of the Wolf" and the devastating "Endless Night," take Calabrese closer to Murderdolls territory than Danzig. It's a step in the right direction for a band whose only sin on their last CD was a slight lack of originality. "III: They Call Us Death" certainly remedies that.

My biggest fear is that the CD disclaimer is more fact than fiction. It reads: "Through the use of advance occult sciences, the combined sound, words and rhythm used on this compact disk my cause spontaneous cranial explosion." I've listened to the CD three times through now and my brain seems to be swelling...

Calabrese: Jimmy Calabrese - bass, vocals, Theremin; Davy Calabrese - drums, screaming; Bobby Calabrese - guitars, vocals.

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"The Traveling Vampire Show" (Spookshow; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


There's no mistaking this band's influences, even before you hear their music. With hairstyles reminiscent of the Misfits and with leather jackets and identical last names like the Ramones, Calabrese telegraph what you're going to hear even before the laser beam hits the disc. Add to that the band's horror rock theme and, if you're like me, there's no way you're going to hate this band. In fact, if you're like me, you'll be hooked almost instantly.

"The Traveling Vampire Show" is just what it advertises, not only in its sound but in its Rob Zombie-like artwork. It's horror punk in the vein of the Misfits with a little Ramones thrown in. It's twelve, fast-paced songs with titles like "Inside This Coffin," "Children of the Night " and (my favorite) "Saturday Night of the Living Dead." Seriously, if you buy this CD and you're expecting a collection of Gregorian chants, you need to seek psychiatric help.

With their inspirations worn plainly on their sleeves, the one thing Calabrese don't have a lot of is originality but their influences are strong enough and their own sound just barely different enough that "The Traveling Vampire Show" sounds like Calabrese more than it does the Misfits or the Ramones. Anyway, in a genre such as horror punk, too much originality can be a bad thing.

Fans of any horror punk band will find plenty to like about "The Traveling Vampire Show."

Calabrese: Jimmy Calabrese - bass, vocals, Theremin, tambourine, keyboards, spirit channeling; Davy Calabrese - drums, Ouija board, astral projection, clairvoyance; Bobby Calabrese - guitars, vocals, Tarot deck, automatic writing, necromancy.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500.