Artist: Pitch Black Manor
Album: Night Creeps
Release Date: 13/08/2021
Country: United States
Spooky goth rockers Pitch Black Manor are back with another full-length offering in the form of Night Creeps. The album is set for independent release on August 13th.
Pitch Black Manor are Halloween incarnate, from their aesthetic to their lyrical themes and the spooky gothic energy of their music. All that they make one think of is jack o lanterns, goblins, ghosts and ghouls pouring out of a rundown house on a hill surrounded by an overgrown yard and inexplicable fog. The three piece is made up of Joshua Bentley, Chad Fifer & Lyle Erickson, who are responsible for the re-incarnation of the band, which was originally formed in 1990 but split up in 1995 only to reform again in 2020. .
The band make incredibly catchy music that also happens to be dark and brooding while retaining a truly fun and enjoyable element. When I say that the music is fun I think it’s mostly due to the over the top dedication to the band’s horror themes and the level of pageantry that they use to present those elements. It probably also has to do with the heavy handed use of synth throughout their music.
As for the music itself though I would say that it’s in equal parts a blend of industrial, post-punk and gothic rock. The industrial beats are a key element in the catchiness of the music with a definite lean towards ebm at times on this release. The darker more ominous industrial elements are still present but aren’t as prevalent as they were on the band’s previous offering. The vocals on the album are firmly planted in the gothic rock style but do incorporate numerous post-punk influences in their overall presentation. Instrumentally speaking we have a solid blend of influences drawn from the above-mentioned genres. The band have a definite 80s throwback flare to their instrumental work, and I think that hint of nostalgia elevates the music that much more.
In relation to the band’s previous release the band have definitely gone in a slightly different direction with this one. There’s less dark and brooding industrial elements and less of a focus on the occult. This is noticibly more of an upbeat and catchy offering than the last. The music is faster paced and bouncier and as mentioned there’s almost an ebm feeling at times. The horror themes are definitely still a core element of the band’s identity, but their scope has somewhat shifted. There’s less of a focus on topics like hauntings, mummies, blasphemy, werewolves and more of a focus on slashers, night stalkers, minions and dark masters. These are no less horror-based themes, just a different area of the horror genre.
Overall, I truly enjoyed the album. Saying that it was a fun listen would be an understatement. This release really has the power to put the listener in a good mood with how unabashed and over the top it is in so many ways. Pitch Black Manor have always been a breath of fresh air for me with how serious and dark so much of the music I cover is. This album is no exception and in fact is even more free and unincumbered than the last. It’s always great to see a band cover horror topics but not take them too seriously. In summary, if you enjoy eccentric and extravagant gothic industrial rock then this is the album for you.
Listen to and order the album: