Music Review: Ice Nine Kills’s ‘Welcome to Horrorwood’

Sometimes, a sequel is just as good as the original.


Jack Nathanson, Guest Contributor

In 2018, the Massachusetts-based band Ice Nine Kills (INK) dropped a fantastic album called “The Silver Scream.” It was a collection of songs based on well-known horror films like Stabbing In The Dark (Halloween) and Thank God It’s Friday (Friday The 13th). There was also a story throughout the album in the music videos, which was an entertaining ride to see what would unravel next in the story.

Since then, fans have eagerly waited for the rumored follow-up, which was to feature more songs based on even more films. Three years later, we finally have it: The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood. Not only does the album continue where the first album left off, but it also presents great songs based on horror movie classics and even some lesser-known films.

“Opening Night” is not really a song but an intro to the “plot” of the record. A police officer tells us these songs have been hidden away and are now key evidence of the “murder” of lead singer Spencer Charnas’s fiance. The collection of songs are known as Welcome to Horrorwood.

INK opens the album with “Welcome To Horrorwood,” which is not a song about a movie but about movie tropes. We open with an acoustic guitar and Spencer singing about how there is always a classic killer and how it always “cuts to a close-up and fades to black.” We cut to a heavy INK style a minute in, with guitarist Dan Sugarman playing quick and fast leads and a pretty fantastic guitar solo later in the song. The chorus is catchy, melodic, and encourages crowd participation, which is always a bonus.

In “A Rash Decision,” we’ve got a song based on Cabin Fever. It’s a heavy song, and it has another amazing chorus as usual. I love the breakdown in this song as well. Spencer shows off his singing and his screams, which both are excellent. The movie’s theme is represented here very well, like the line “We came here today to get away, but now our perfect plans are all fading quickly” great song. The drums here shine too.

The band’s second single, “Assault & Batteries,” is based on the Child’s Play movies. In the song, you get your classic INK feel, chaotic yet melodic vocals, and of course, a catchy chorus. I also love the use of toys as sound effects, which adds to the Child’s Play feel. The breakdown is heavy, and the guitar solo rips. If you’re a fan of the movies, you will hear countless references to the series throughout the album.

it’s inevitable that INK would cover Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho, and they definitely do the movie justice in “The Shower Scene.” The song title comes from the iconic scene in the movie, in which the main character is attacked in the shower. The breakdown features parts of the iconic score during that part of the film and the shower rains throughout. And, of course, a catchy chorus—INK really knows how to write a good chorus.

One word to describe “Funeral Derangements” is heavy. This is probably the second heaviest song on the album, after “Take Your Pick.” This song is based on the movie Pet Sematary. This was the last single INK released before dropping the album, and it shows they were not holding back. I love the references to the movie, like the “Sometimes dead is better” line, or the “Oh my god, Gage!” going into the song.

Did I expect INK to cover Resident Evil? No. Did I realize that I have been longing for a Resident Evil song without even knowing it? Yes. The riffs here remind me a lot of Bring Me The Horizon’s 2020 track “Obey,” which is a bad thing by no means. The chorus is one of the most catchy on the album, and Spencer sings his heart out on this track. It’s really a good way to show off his range.

Do you like Ice Nine Kills? Yes, I do. “Hip To Be Scared” is based on the cult classic “American Psycho” starring Christan Bale. One of my favorite movies of all time. This song also features Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach, who sings the last chorus. Speaking of the chorus, it’s one of my favorites on the album. It’s super catchy. But, the standout part of this song is the part after the second chorus, in which INK parody’s the iconic “Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?” scene from the movie. This even features the same riffs and drum beats from Huey Lewis and the News’ track, “Hip To Be Square.” It’s excellent stuff.

When the tracklist was announced for this album, the moment I saw Corpsegrinder from Cannibal Corpse would be on “Take Your Pick,” I knew I was in for a surprise. And I was not disappointed. This song is pure gold; it’s the heaviest song on the album, no doubt, and may even be the heaviest song INK has ever done. This song is based on the 80’s slasher film “My Bloody Valentine.” This is definitely a standout track.

“The Box” features Brandon Saller from Atreyu and Ryan Kirby from Fit For A King. The song itself is based on The Hellraiser series, and the chorus here is massive as well. I love the riff here, which uses tapping and hammer-ons to create a hectic feel. The mix between the three singers is perfect, especially since they all have very different vocal styles.

“F.L.Y.” is based on “The Fly,” which stars Jeff Goldblum. The chorus is loud and melodic, and the verses here are the same. Spencer really sings here. There are primarily cleans, which are done exceptionally well. I love the combination of heavy instrumentals with clean vocals and the backing vocals from the rest of the band. This song also has Buddy Nielsen from Senses Fail. Although he doesn’t have a huge part in the song, the parts he sings in stand out.

“Würst Vacation” is based on the 2006 film, Hostel. I love the use of the German language in this song. They even featured the actor who played the villain to sing those parts! Hostel wasn’t a movie I had heard of until earlier this year, so I didn’t know enough about the film, although I did enjoy it. The song, though is catchy and well put together. This is not my favorite track, but it’s still super good. It shows how good this album really is.

“Ex-Mørtis” is based on the fantastic “Evil Dead” movies. This song is groovy, and I love the chorus and the extra noises like door creaks and footsteps. The breakdown features Spencer singing iconic lines from the movies like “Groovy” and the iconic shotgun blast with “swallow this.” This song is over the top, and great, just like the movies it’s based on.

One of my favorite horror movies, Candyman (1992), finally got an INK song called “Farewell II Flesh.” I loved the film, and of course, I loved this song. It’s majestic and captivating, just like Tony Todd’s performance of the character in the 1992 film. I love the riff that sounds like swarming bees as well sa Spencer’s outstanding vocals. This song is great, and it’s a great way to close the album.

Overall, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood is an outstanding album from start to finish. It’s just as good as the original Silver Scream. Both albums are fantastic. INK is such a good band that puts so much effort into their songs and albums. I can’t wait to see what these guys have in store next.