Pete’s best of 2013

For your consideration, here are the music, movies, games, and experiences that stood out for me in 2013.

busch gardens
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Halloween songs no. 26: Doyle – “Valley of Shadows”

AbominatorFollowing the release of the Gorgeous Frankenstein album, and just as the band was about to head out on tour opening for Danzig, Doyle sacked Landon Blood from the group and decided to have bassist Arthur Goolsby sing as well by fitting him with a wireless headset mic. In addition to playing as an opening act, Doyle continued to join Danzig onstage for sets of old Misfits songs. After a couple years of off-and-on touring and writing new songs the lineup fell apart, with Goolsby and drummer Jesco Devilanse both exiting the group.

Dr. CHUD took over on drums and brought in bassist “Left Hand Graham”, who’d played with him in Graves and X-Ward. For the new singer Doyle tapped Alex “Wolfman” Story of Cancerslug, a dead ringer for Samhain-era Glenn Danzig whose voice fits the material much better than Landon Blood’s did, in my opinion. Doyle & Story continued to work on new material, and the band continued to perform as Gorgeous Frankenstein, until Story suggested starting fresh and changing the band’s name to simply Doyle, since he was the most recognizable member and was writing all the music.

All the Gorgeous Frankenstein material was retired except for the new stuff Doyle & Story had been working on, and they pushed forward with the new album Abominator, which came out this July on Doyle’s own Monsterman Records label. Doyle played all the guitars and bass on the record (Left Hand Graham remains in the group as the touring bassist) as well as producing it, Dr. CHUD drummed, and Story sang.

The Doyle material is some of the heaviest metal the guitarist has ever performed. Where his brother Jerry took the Misfits in a campier direction away from the more explicit and prurient subject matter of the Glenn Danzig years, Doyle’s post-Misfits material leans more toward the “all murder, all guts, all fun” side. The hulking guitarist is a man of few words and generally says things like “I’m just the background noise. He’s the singer” when asked about lyrical content, so it seems that he’s either cool with the stuff Story want to sing about or he just doesn’t much care. Either way, the Doyle material revels in topics like murder, demons, and sex. You know, classic horror punk/heavy metal stuff. There seems to be a little good-natured antagonism between Doyle and Jerry over both of them having written new songs titled “Land of the Dead”.

Doyle continues to tour as an opening act for Danzig and do the Misfits sets, most recently for the “Danzig Legacy” series of shows. This concludes my week of Misfits-related bands; next we’ll get back to more campy fun with the Groovie Ghoulies and Cramps, then move into some British goth territory.

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