THE KILLING MACHINE, Fellow’s Wait (2005, demo)

The skull:
This looks like some super-generic horror movie poster. Or actually, like some super-generic direct-to-DVD horror movie cover. You can practically see the small serifed font underneath that says something like, “Evil bursts through.” The big skull actually has a little skull nestled into his forehead, like the beginning of a nasty skull fractal, but because the size differential is so great, and because the little guy is clearly of a piece with the big guy, we’ll treat it as an adornment and not a second skull for the purposes of Skullection qualification. But yeah, it looks like the skull is emerging from a satin bedsheet or something, which I guess would be kind of scary. But what the hell does “Fellow’s Wait” mean? Does it, and the image (with the sheets), imply some supernatural sexual menace? As in, “This fellow’s wait for some action has been so long, he’s a skull now, and he’s not gonna wait anymore!” That must be the plot of the movie: this skull flying around the haunted house some nubile young lady has just inherited, making kissy noises and chasing the sisters of the heroine’s sorority, who though this would be an awesome location for their Halloween mixer with the dudes from Kappa Tau. Damn. I need to call my agent. This is gold!

The music:
The Killing Machine began as an Iron Maiden and Judas Priest cover band, and this, their lone demo, bears those influences out. Sadly, they sound more like late 90s Maiden and Priest than I think anyone would prefer, but they’re not a terrible band. Just a little dull. They even have a song called “We Bore,” which is the saddest mission statement I can imagine. There is some life and even some originality in “The Mansion” but mostly, this is metal that fails to excite. The singer is adequate, with a reasonably wide range, but his voice has a weird pinched tone, as if he forgot his allergy medicine. The demo is produced a bit oddly, but there’s something very natural about it that I find appealing. The band is “on hold,” supposedly, but with only this one demo to their name, I think it’s probably safe to say this is the last we’ll hear of The Killing Machine, but if they do reactivate, hopefully the intervening ten years will have imparted the wisdom and taste to take this music in the direction it needs to go.
— Friar Johnsen

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