Overall Score: 9/10 songs: 9/10 replay value: 9/10 originality: 8/10 Pros: A huge step up from their previous work Cons: Very little
The Horror genre more than any other has lived and died by it’s persistance on sequelising IP, for better or worse. Ice Nine Kills have decided to take this tried and tested method and applied it to their latest album. Following on from 2018’s hugely Successful The Silver Scream, they have returned with another slice of macabre action with The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood.
The question as with all sequels is, how do you top the original? Well if you’re Ice Nine Kills then you go bigger and bolder! The marketing campaign alone for this album has brought INK fans into an immersive world full of narrative music videos, online games and clues that make this feel like a lived in experience.
But that would mean nothing if the music didn’t hold up. So how is the album? in a word…FUN. Welcome to Horrorwood is one of the most ridiculously fun albums of the year. Part of the fun of listening to an album like this is easter egg hunting and for the horror fans out there you will have a field day.
Assault & Batteries goes fully bonkers sounding like if Protest the Hero were asked to write a jingle for a toy advert in hell. The Shower Scene perfectly conjures images of Psycho and features one of the most delicious breakdowns of the year, making use of one of cinema’s most iconic scores, it also features a chorus to die for.
Funeral Derangements is one of the heaviest songs that Ice Nine Kills have ever commited to tape. It also happens to feature one of the gnarliest audio references to the work it is homaging.It’s my favourite song on the record and is sure to be a fan favourite.
Welcome to Horrorwood features an abundance of guests and manages to bundle all the guest appearances in the middle of the album, each song has a varying degree of quality to it. Hip to be Scared, the album’s lead in single featuring Jacoby Shaddix does a fantastic job of sending up American Psycho but comes very close to overplaying it’s hand, it can be a little too reference heavy in places.
Take your Pick is the album’s most brutal moment, and as such features an equally brutal guest in the form of Corpsegrinder from Cannibal Corpse. This is another ripper that also has a four part boy band harmony into a brutal death metal breakdown. Astonishing stuff.
The Box Features both Brandon Saller from Atreyu & Ryan Kirby from Fit For A King. While it’s a strong song, there are moments where the triple vocal becomes a bit much and it couls have pulled back to allow the track to breathe, but overall it’s another example of the song really fitting the narrative of the film its homaging, in this case with the Hellraiser series.
F.L.Y doesn’t really make use of the guest vocalist, in this case Buddy Nielson from Senses Fail. I honestly couldn’t tell there was a guest vocalist on this track, I’m not sure if that’s a production issue or both him & Spencer having similar voices. It’s the one track that had the least to do with the film on which it’s based. I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t end up as a single as it’s the most radio friendly track on the album.
Ex-Mortis sounds like Fall Out Boy covering Panic At The Disco in a jazz club while drunk on Absinthe. Yeah, there is really no other way to put it, it’s big, flamboyant and massively over the top, much like The Evil Dead trilogy on which the song is based.
The album’s closing moments are some of the finest in Ice Nine Kills’ history. Farewell II Flesh based upon Candyman is one of the best songs they have ever written. It incorporates elements of the films theme, the sound of bees and the classical piece Flight of the Bumblebee to create a demented hypnotic ode to lost love and revenge, it’s a sublime way to end the record on the highest of notes.
Overall The Silver Scream 2 is a massive improvement over the original album. managing to top it at every turn.Ice Nine Kills have created a more well rounded confident album that shows their growth as artists and creatives while remaining wildly entertaining. Every song sounds completely different, creating an album that is as diverse and interesting as the films they are paying homage to.
It remains to be seen if this duology becomes a killogy, but for now Ice Nine Kills have crafted a sequel that is a cut above the original and that will leave their fans screaming for more.
The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood is out now via Fearless Records