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Music / Macabre

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Macabre is a Thrash/Death Metal/Grindcore band from Downers Grove, Illinois. Formed in 1984, they are remarkable for the longevity of their lineup and the consistency of their sound from album to album. They have a Lighter and Softer side project, called Macabre Minstrels, that still contains grim content to happy, soft music.


  • Nefarious (real name, Charles Lescewicz) – bass, vocals
  • Corporate Death (real name, Lance Lencioni) – guitar, vocals
  • Dennis the Menace (real name, Dennis Ritchie) – drums

Studio albums:

  • Gloom (1989)
  • Sinister Slaughter (1993)
  • Dahmer (2000)
  • Murder Metal (2003)
  • Grim Scary Tales (2011)
  • Carnival of Killers (2020)

Macabre Provides Examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Ronald Gene Simmons abused his children before killing them and 14 relatives.
  • A God Am I: Albert Fish declares himself "Christ" to his victims.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Like a lot of interpretations of the song, "Tom Dooley" is probably the only time the killer they sing about isn’t turned into an inhuman monster. The song acknowledges Tom's grim acceptance of his fate for killing a woman.
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Lizzie Borden, based off of the famous folk rhyme.
    • David Brom who, as the title of the song dedicated to him indicates, took an axe to murder his family.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The man in "Found a Peanut" goes to hell when he dies from eating the titular, rotting peanut.
    • The Zodiac killer boasts that his victims will be his slaves in the afterlife.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The band’s version of "The Cat Came Back" certainly makes the cat seem this way.
  • Ax-Crazy: The people they sing about usually aren’t mentally healthy, as expected for Serial Killers.
  • Bad Santa: Ronald Gene Simmons is shown as one on the album cover of Sinister Slaughter.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Georg Grossman hanged himself in his cell to escape justice for his crimes.
  • Black Comedy: Probably the blackest comedy their is. One of the best examples has to be "Jeffery Dahmer and the Chocolate Factory", which is a song parody of the classic Oompa Loompa songs.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: Gilles Garnier‘s song, "The Big Bad Wolf", even uses the fairytale’s famous "What big x you have..." for the chorus.
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  • Black Knight: The song about Gilles De Rais is literally called "The Black Knight".
  • The Caligula: Nero is portrayed as batshit crazy, like most fictional incarnations.
  • Cover Version: The band has covered Venom's "Countess Bathory" for Grim Scary Tales.
  • Crippling Castration: Nero would have people tied to stakes so he could dress up as animals and bite off their genitals
  • Concept Album: Based on the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, in chronological order.
  • Deal with the Devil: Gilles Garnier made a deal with a demon who promised him and his wife could have a better life. The demon allowed him to eat by turning him into a wolf so he and his wife could devour the flesh of children.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Albert Fish and Gilles De Rais weren’t picky about the gender of the children they molested.
  • Depraved Homosexual: John Wayne Gacy and Jeffery Dahmer are two of the most famous examples they use.
    • Nero is also portrayed as this.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • David Brom murdered his entire family because his father forbid him from listening to his favorite music.
    • James Edward Pough shot and killed 11 people in a car loan office because his car was repossessed.
  • Domestic Abuse: Ronald Gene Simmons kept a fence around his trailer to keep his neighbors from knowing he was abusing his family.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Cat from "The Cat Came Back" is implied to be some strange, other worldly being that causes death to anyone who tries to kill or get rid of it.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • In a rare occurrence for the band, who usually just strip the killers they sing about of what little humanity they had, "The Big Bad Wolf" song actually acknowledges Gilles Garnier‘s real-life motivation of devouring children so he and his wife could eat when he wasn’t able to provide for them.
    • In "The Iceman", when not murdering people, Richard Kuklinski is noted to be a "dedicated family man".
  • Evil Is Petty: Edmund Kemper killed Co-Ed’s because he didn’t like his mother, and she worked at the college his victims were attending.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The band covers killers from every race, gender, and sexuality.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Ted Bundy was infamous for using his good looks and charm to nab his victims.
  • For the Evulz: The Vampire of Dusseldorf freely admits to this being his reason for killing.
  • Freudian Excuse: Played With. While they do bring up the possibility Vlad the Impailer's mind was warped by his captivity, it isn’t stated to be the case and his actions eroded any sympathy or justification these reason could’ve given him.
  • Greed: Jack Gilbert Graham's motive for killing his mom and 43 others was for the life insurance she had.
  • Groin Attack: Nero would bite the genitals of his tied up victims.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: "Edmund Kemper had a horrible Temper".
  • Hate Sink: ALL their songs cover disgusting murders of all kinds, and those who aren’t turned pure evil have redeeming qualities so minuscule they might as well not exist.
  • Hemo Erotic: Based on the real Vampire Of Dusseldorf, the titular song is this trope.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Not hard to do when a lot of these killers were scum in real life, but it’s noticeable that, even when they sing about the life of killers who have Abusive Parents (Like Kemper) they just make it about them killing For the Evulz.
  • Horrible History Metal: All of their songs that aren't covers are this.
  • Humans Are Bastards: There songs can be considered highlight reels of the biggest bastards of them all.
  • Human Sacrifice: Gilles De Rais would sacrifice children to demons after raping them.
  • I Love the Dead: After cutting off their heads, Edmund Kemper would take the severed heads home and have sex with them.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • Albert Fish would turn his victims into stew.
    • Of course we also have songs about Jeffery Dahmer, one of the most infamous cannibals in serial killer history.
    • Peter Stumpp, the Werewolf of Bedburg, would travel around Germany eating the hearts of his victims, and even went so far as to eat his own newborn child.
  • Jerkass: Men like Ronald Gene Simmons were not only disgusting murderers, but also violent abusers.
  • Karma Houdini: Like in real life, William Hare pinned everything on Burke and was freed.
  • Karmic Death: Though only if said killer actually suffered this fate in real life.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Their lineup has consisted of the same three guys since 1984.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: The first lyrics of "Mr. Albert Fish (Was Children Your Favorite Dish?)" reveals that Albert loved to hear little kids’ screams.
  • Master Poisoner: In "Locusta", the title character is portrayed as a Psycho for Hire who’s method of killing was poisoning.
  • Meaningful Name: "Georg Grossman was a very gross man."
  • Miniscule Rocking: A good portion of their songs are under two minutes long.
  • Off with His Head!: Edmund Kemper would pick up hitchhiking Co-Ed’s and cut off there heads.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Gilles Garnier became a Wolf Man through a deal with a demon.
  • Pædo Hunt: A lot, though most infamous, both in their songs and in real life, is Albert Fish. He is one of the few killers they made multiple songs covering.
  • Pet the Dog: In the most twisted manner imaginable. Gilles Garnier's motivation for killing and eating children was so he and his wife could eat. Horrifically disgusting and monstrous? Yes, but he did it for her "benefit".
  • Psycho for Hire: "The Iceman" is about mob hitman Richard Kuklinski, one of the most notorious real life examples of the trope.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Albert Fish, you were such a fucking nut!"
  • Savage Wolves: Gilles Garnier is as savage as they come.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: Georg Grossman would cut up prostitutes and serve them to customers under the guise of "pork or beef."
  • Serial Killer: Every song, not counting the Dahmer album, is about a different killer. There are exceptions, though, like songs about Spree Killers or mass murderers.
  • Serial Rapist: Many, some of the more inhuman individuals they cover fall into this.
  • Shown Their Work: Their songs are disturbingly historically accurate, helps that the band has actually met some of the killers they sing about, and gotten to know them on a personal level. John Wayne Gacy is one example.
  • The Sociopath: Helps that a lot of the people these guys sing about were truly diagnosed with this disorder.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Their more recent works mix clean vocals with their usual growls and screams.
  • The Spook: Georg Grossman, just like in real life, was an enigma. Because he killed himself before he could be properly tried in court, his motives or history that couldn’t possibly explained his disgusting actions remain a mystery.
  • Spree Killer: Cover these just as much as they do Serial Killers.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Edmund Kemper killed his grandparents when he was 15.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Their music has consistently remained uncomplicated and brutal throughout their run.
  • Token Evil Teammate: "While all the Caesars of Rome were depraved and perverse, everybody says that Nero Caesar was the worst!"
  • Villain Protagonist: All of their songs usually follow the story of these horrific killers.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Gilles De Rais was known as hero before his actions turned him into an infamous villain.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Nefarious delivers his lines in a deep sinister growl, while Corporate Death goes for banshee-like shrieking.
  • While Rome Burns: Like many believe, Nero played the lyre after setting Rome on fire.
  • Wolf Man: Gilles Garnier made a patch with a demon to turn into a wolf so he could provide food for his wife and himself.
  • Would Harm a Senior: Edmund Kemper killed his grandparents at 15.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Common theme of many of their songs due to many Serial Killers primarily targeting women.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Not just kill them, either.