Michale Graves Returns with “When Worlds Collide” (2016) Music Review

Ex-Misfits front man Michale Graves is back with a sequel to his bestselling solo record, “The Lost Skeleton Returns.”

After Michale Graves abandoned his post as front man for the rebooted version of the legendary horror punk band, The Misfits, following two memorable hit records in the late 90’s, he spent the next decade struggling to find his voice as a solo artist. He also left a hole that has never really been filled in Jerry Only’s recent incarnation of the band. Lest anyone forget, Graves also wrote most of the best songs from the two studio albums recorded during his tenure with The Misfits, including “Dig up Her Bones,” “Saturday Night,” “Scream,” “American Psycho” and others.

Graves initially set upon a path of following his horror punk roots for a couple of solo records, “Punk Rock is Dead” and “Return to Earth,” but ultimately charted a new course as a hard rock singer/songwriter who seemed to really shine on all acoustic records and in intimate solo venues.

As most horror fans would agree, however, once the orange-and-black venom gets injected into your veins, you’re in it for life. There’s no escaping the Great Pumpkin’s siren song, and in 2013 Graves put on the skeleton makeup again for a record and tour supporting “The Lost Skeleton Returns,” which turned out to be his bestselling record since his Misfits glory days. Funded on Kickstarter, Graves’ fans let him know with their support that they were ready for the “Skele-Crow” to return from the grave.

With “When Worlds Collide” Graves delivers a sequel to “Lost Skeleton” made up of 11 new horror based tracks all named after B-movie chillers and science fiction oldies. “When Worlds Collide” is a title that accurately describes the included tracks which are a mix of Graves’ punk rock roots and his more contemporary melodic hard rock sensibilities. Songs like the opening track, “Bedlam,” and “I Walk with a Zombie” definitely recall his punk rock DNA, but other cuts like “Robot Monster” and the amazing title track (my favorite new song on this record) are more in line with his more recent rock material.

In any case, this is a true solo studio project. Graves wrote all the lyrics, plays lead and bass guitar and handles all the vocals. Drummer, Chuck Treece, is the only other credited musician listed in the liner notes other than background vocals on “Old Dark House” by Amy Santabella.

Perhaps most exciting to fans of his skeleton makeup heyday, Graves has recorded a sequel to one of his most popular Misfits songs, “Saturday Night.” Fifteen years after the release of “Famous Monsters,” this new track revisits the tortured narrator of the original song for a little murderous hangover on “Crying on Sunday Morning.”

The first single, released with an accompanying music video that includes footage from the William Castle/Vincent Price horror classic, “The House on Haunted Hill,” is a track called “Old Dark House.” It’s a creepy, slow burn mood piece that wouldn’t seem out of place on an Alice Cooper record.

The 11 new tracks are:

Bedlam

Diabolical

Dying on Sunday Morning

I Walk with a Zombie

Old Dark House

Robot Monster

The Beginning of the End

The Face behind the Mask

Things to Come

3 Days ‘til Dawn

When Worlds Collide

When Worlds Collide” is available exclusively through Hydraulic Entertainment (http://hydraulic-entertainment.com/). The CD is $20, and there are limited signed editions for $40.

The Phantom of The Ville

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