To celebrate the coming of the second half of the fourth season of The Walking Dead on AMC (Sunday, February 9), today’s mixtape theme is zombies. I know, zombies are everywhere, and I myself am getting a bit tired of zombies, but I have yet to get tired of The Walking Dead, and I doubt very much if I’ll ever tire of the following badass zombie-themed jams. This mix doesn’t have quite as many songs as the last two, but three of the songs on this mix are 7 minutes or longer. Anyway, enjoy this sick motherfucker.
1. “Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue (Let Sleeping Corpses Lie)” by Impetigo (from Horror of the Zombies – 1992) – Impetigo is perhaps best known as a highly contagious bacterial skin infection, characterized by red sores, many of which leak pus, turn to scabs, and sometimes leave scars. A gross as that may sound, it doesn’t begin to approach the sick, fucked up, disgusting depravity that was Impetigo, the legendary and sadly defunct death metal/grindcore band from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. I’ll write more about them another time, as they deserve more space than I can allow here. Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, the title of this mix comes from the title of the album that this amazingly gross song closes out.
2. “The Undead Will Feast” by Cannibal Corpse (from Eaten Back to Life – 1990) – If you asked the average person to name a death metal band, Cannibal Corpse would probably be the name they’d come up with (although I have a feeling that Slayer would get a lot of mentions, too). This statement is not based on any actual research, but the fact that Cannibal Corpse was in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective definitely made more people aware of them than would otherwise have been. Is that a proper sentence? Anyway, this song is from their first album, when they were almost a thrash band, before Chris Barnes’ voice got totally unintelligible.
3. “Walking Corpse” by Brutal Truth (from Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses – 1992) – This song is not actually about zombies, but is in fact a call to the listener to wake the fuck up and do something with your life. I included it here for two reasons: 1.) my mixtape, my rules; and 2,) it’s a fucking awesome song.
4. “Live Undead” by Slayer (from South of Heaven – 1988) – Slayer released a “live” album called Live Undead in 1984. That album has a super-badass cover, and is unrelated to this song, which rules just as much, but in a different way, coming along, as it did, four years later. That’s a lot of commas. Here’s “Live Undead”.
5. “Re-Animator” by Rigor Mortis (from Rigor Mortis – 1988) – Rigor Mortis, along with D.R.I., was one of the best bands to come out of Texas in the 1980s. They played super-intense thrash metal, often poking their rotting head into death metal territory, and their songs are all twisted tales based on and/or inspired by horror movies. Their phenomenal guitarist, Mike Scaccia (who also played with Ministry and various other Al Jourgenson-related projects), died in 2012 after collapsing onstage during a performance. Pretty fucked up. Fun fact: in the opening credits of the 1980s television show Doogie Howser, M.D., you can briefly see a Rigor Mortis poster on Doogie’s bedroom wall.
Anyhoo, this song is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s really good and really weird 1922 serial novelette Herbert West – Reanimator, which inspired Stuart Gordon’s absolutely outstanding 1985 film Re-Animator, which you should seriously watch ASAP, whether or not you’ve seen it before. This unofficial video uses footage from that movie, and if that footage doesn’t make you want to watch Re-Animator, then what the fuck are you even doing here?
6. “Night of the Seagulls” by Cathedral (from The Carnival Bizarre – 1994) – To be perfectly honest, I don’t really care for most of Cathedral’s output. Musically, they’re pretty great, but I like singer Lee Dorrian’s voice much more on his performances with Napalm Death (even though I prefer current ND vocalist Barney Greenway over Dorrian). This song is one of the exceptions to my “don’t-really-care-for-most-of-Cathedral’s-output” rule. It’s based on the film of the same name, which is part of the Spanish-Portuguese Blind Dead series. I’ve only seen the first one (1972’s Tombs of the Blind Dead), but it was pretty rad, and I look forward to watching the rest.
7. “Hunger of the Undead” by Dark Angel (from Darkness Descends – 1986) – If you’ve read my last two Mixtape Monday posts, you know a little bit about Dark Angel. This is more from them, and it’s fucking great.
8. “Zombie Ritual” by Death (from Scream Bloody Gore – 1987) – Death, from Tampa, Florida (not to be confused with Death, from Detroit, Michigan), were among the very first death metal bands to exist. Their sound evolved constanly under the direction of founder/vocalist/guitarist (and only consistent member) Chuck Schuldiner (RIP), and Scream Bloody Gore is the only album of theirs that is really full-on “death metal” from a lyrical standpoint. Their entire catalog is phenomenal; if you’re not familiar with them, you should check them out. Individual Thought Patterns (1993) and Human (1991) are my two favorites, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
9. “The Zombie Terror” by Sigh (from Infidel Art – 1995) – Sigh is an avant-garde black metal band from Tokyo, Japan. I don’t know a lot about them, and I haven’t heard much, but I very much like everything I have heard. I will know more about them someday, and then I will discuss them here. I find this song to be strangely, captivatingly beautiful.
10. “Eaten Alive” by Repulsion (from Horrified – 1989) – Flint, Michigan’s Repulsion helped invent the grindcore genre. This album was released as a demo called Slaughter of the Innocent in 1986, and was re-released as a proper album (with the new name) on Bill Steer and Jeff Walker‘s short-lived Necrosis Records (an imprint of British death/grind powerhouse Earache Records) in 1989. As it was originally a demo, it’s a muddy, fuzzy bastard of an album, but that really helps make it what it is.
11. “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” by Anthrax (from Worship Music – 2011) – “Big Four” member Anthrax has been a favorite band of mine since the late 80s, and my relationship with them has had a lot of ups and downs (which I will discuss here in the future), but no matter what happens, I can keep coming back to the songs – their worst songs are pretty good, and their great songs are untouchable. And even though the chorus riff from “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” was lifted directly from their song “Gridlock”, off their 1990 masterpiece Persistence of Time, it is one of their great songs. And hey, at least they’re stealing from themselves, right?
That does it for this week’s edition of Mixtape Monday. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you’ll always, always, always stay heavy.