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Murder by Death: Mountain Menace 

Wednesday, May 14 2008

If Red of Tooth and Claw, the latest album by Indiana quartet Murder by Death, were a movie, its opening sequence would be a cinematic triumph. "I'm Coming Home" begins at an easy trot, moving across a barren landscape shaped by toothy finger-picking and a shuffling snare while Adam Turla's baritone gathers like storm clouds. When the tension finally breaks, it is in a fury of breakneck cello, thundering drums, clanging guitars, and a mountainous howl which affirms the menace behind the title refrain. As with prior Murder by Death offerings, Red of Tooth is a concept album. Unlike the prior two, which told of human malediction in a throng of brooding styles, this is a cohesive, caliginous rock opera that follows one man's murderous passion and providence. Perhaps the singleness of purpose has reminded the band how cathartic rock can be.

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Silke Tudor


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