An album review on the new Doyle (of The Misfits fame) metal album As We Die.
While many long for the full time reunion of The Misfits after their two surprise performances last year, everyone’s favorite punk monsters are going strong in different directions. Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is one of those monsters who has been pushing for more music in both The Misfits AND at the same time working on his on solo project, and in that comes Doyle II: As We Die. Teaming up with Alex Story, vocalist of Cancerslug, Doyle’s follow up to the 2013 “Abominator” is 13 tracks of horror that The Misfit’s shredder is known for helping create for several decades. I feel like many people keep looking for new material from Glen Danzig and while he is still continuing to make albums, Doyle is a guitarist who should get more attention from rock and metal fans.
As for the second album under Doyle’s self-named band, the vegan monster intends to pull out all the stops while including guest performances from Randy Blythe of Lamb of God and members of Arch Enemy. Different sides of metal are contributing in this soundtrack to a horror themed stage play coming on David Ellefson’s label EMP. One of the big factors to remember on Doyle’s new album is that this isn’t a focus on the punk style that many Misfit fans will be looking for. Doyle’s band belongs in the metal world with heavy solos and bridges along with brutal rhythms and Alex Story growling his voice out. The heavier sound is what will be coming out through just about every track on As We Die.
To give an idea of how much detail was spent on some of the music in this album, the lead single “Run For Your Life” had the guitar sections written back in 2013 when the debut Abominator came out. After that the song spent over 14 months in mixing just to make everything sound perfect. That is an insane amount of attention to one song. When you listen to the first 45 seconds of “Run For Your Life” you get the impression that this song was meant for a concert opener and possibly even the album opening originally. Listen to the drum beat from Black Flag’s Brandon Pertzborn and you get that energetic kickstart. The rhythm and the heavy riffs from Doyle continue through the song that leads to a great, albeit short, solo. The unfortunate detractor from “Run For Your Life” as well as a few other songs on the album is the vocal layer. It has the effect that it’s being layered along with every other instrument and as a result doesn’t come out in front but rather sounds like it’s being sang from the back of the room. On the flip side of that issue however is that all the instruments come out louder and they have glorious moments.
As you might expect from a group named after an amazing guitarist, it’s the music that is the focus and not necessarily the vocals and lyrics. Songs like “Kiss Me As We Die”, “God Of Flies”, and “Show No Mercy”, not only feature moments of great rhythm sections but you can hear Doyle become unhinged with his Annihilator guitar.
“Kiss Me As We Die” featuring Alissa White-Gluz is my favorite track on As We Die. It is a complete song with a buildup and features everything that Doyle and his band have to offer in four and a half minutes. This track along with “Virgin Sacrifice” featuring Randy Blythe are the standouts in giving something memorable. My biggest issue with As We Die again though is is the vocal deliver. It’s definitely not bad but over half of the album is spent with what sounds like uneven layers and it just sounds watered down underneath everything else in the music that is firing on all cylinders. I want to like this album more than I do, and I feel this is what holds everything back.
Despite my comments on the vocal volume, the biggest attraction from Doyle is the man himself and his guitar licks. And in 13 tracks you will get more than your fill if you are a guitar lover looking for amazing riffs and bridges. Credit also comes to the rhythm section and special guests, but it makes sense that the guitar is the standout in a guitarists album. Overall, As We Die is a fun listen from Doyle that captures a great energetic feeling with a blast of horror and a hint of style from The Misfits. While it may not be for every metal fan or even the diehard fans of The Misfits, there are still many songs worth hearing; especially with someone on an Annihilator guitar cutting loose in almost every track.