Review Summary: A huge step down from his earlier works with very few positives
One would think from hearing Blood Sucker that this is the standard enjoyable and crazy experience that Wednesday 13 has provided since his days in the Frankenstein Drag Queens. You would be forgiven for thinking this if this was your initial opinion. 2013 heralds a new release from Wednesday entitled The Dixie Dead and this is anything but the fun dose of hard rock music that albums like Fang Band and Skeletons were. Aside from one or two tracks, it would seem that on this release he really intended to piss off his fans with some very questionable song choices.
Recently Wednesday's career has not exactly been perfect but there was no excuse for an album this poor. It is to be hoped that he will soon come to the realization that he is too old and that there is no place in the music industry for albums such as this one and call it a day. The main problem with The Dixie Dead is the lack of energy behind it. Songs such as Scream Baby Scream and Bad Things may well have relied on chugging riffs but at least the vocals carried them forward bombastically. Get Your Grave on has the most god-awful main riff to it and even by this point the album has lost much of the promise Blood Sucker gives off. The chorus is as bland and predictable as it gets and it fails to pick up at all. This song keeps a plodding pace throughout that Wednesday's previous album Calling All Corpses was not guilty of despite the lack of quality that particular record had.
The pacing problems only continue throughout the rest of the album as well. Curse The Living lifts spirits on the album a little with its fun riff that opens it up but continues this way for its duration and is little more than a snooze-fest. Too Fast For Blood is one long chugging piece of garbage that should have been cut and the same can be said for Hail Ming no matter what the quality of the drumming on that particular track. The title track at least has a little energy behind the vocals with the "lordy lordy make your bed" line in the chorus standing out. Moments like this actually strive to recall the enjoyment that can be gained from listening to albums such as Transylvania 90210 and Skeletons and are some positives in a cesspool of negatives. Even following this song however Wednesday continues on his path of self destruction with the droning Ghost Stories and ridiculous F*ck You (In Memories Of).
One more major problem with The Dixie Dead is the fact that the vocals lack the charisma of the past releases by Wednesday 13 and the lyrics have lost any relevancy they may have had. In the past Wednesday has shown a different side to him that proved to be his finest outing. That particular lyrical performance was the reflections on his own life contained within Skeletons and showed that he does not need to continue with the horror movie cliches he has used time and time again. Every lyrical idea he finds himself writing about for The Dixie Dead has been done time and time again, be it on a Frankenstein Drag Queens album, a Murderdolls one, or one of his earlier solo albums. This same problem was the major one that dragged down Calling All Corpses and yet he did not learn from his mistakes. Aside from certain yet-to-be-mentioned highlights, the vocals also feel tired and strained. The mental choruses and insane shrieks from songs like God Is A Lie are missing from this album for the most part. In their place is a monotonous low style of singing that everyone who has heard of Wednesday 13 will no doubt have heard. The only problem is that he barely channels any passion behind the vocals on The Dixie Dead.
A couple of shining lights can be found among the darkness that is the majority of this album. Blood Sucker is the strongest song on this album by a long way. It comes after a brief introductory track and is a suitably energetic opener for a Wednesday 13 album that stands out as one of his best tracks to date. The first time his voice is heard on this album is found in an absolutely demented-sounding scream that shows he still has what it takes to put in a good performance. He really does uncage his inner beast on this song and creates his best opener to date. Also for those who enjoyed this song and thought it was a one-trick pony, consider Hands Of The Ripper a kick to the groin. This song is the last proper song, with Death Arise merely being a brief instrumental, and boy does it leave you on a high note. The chorus is the most infectious on the album and the guitar work is a lot less boring than the other songs are. Wednesday sounds fired up and pissed off and this really gives the song a feeling of fun and intensity to it that much of the album is devoid of.
Aside from these two songs, The Dixie Dead is an album that just drags on. And on. There are very few praise-worthy vocal segments on this album, less of the simplistic-but-fun solos and next to no riffs that are actually well crafted or enjoyable. In place of these is a dull snooze-fest that scarcely looks like it will pick up at all. Download the two aforementioned good songs and ignore the rest as it may well be among the worst material released so far in 2013.