Release Date: June 11, 2021 Genre: Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal Label: Buried Alive Records Living Dead Girl is the rising alternative metal/heavy metal project fronted by Canadian vocalist and model Molly Rennick, which she formed in 2017. Living Dead Girl's debut album, Exorcism, has been in the works for the last four years and is finally ready for everyone to get a listen. Living Dead Girl's lineup is rounded out by guitarist John Ellis, bassist Jordan Storring, and drummer Ryan Claxton. Rennick recruited music producer Mitchell Marlow to produce the band's debut album. Marlow is best known for his work with artists such as Papa Roach, In This Moment, All That Remains, and New Years Day, to name a few. Living Dead Girl's debut album is a unique amalgamation of several genres that extend across the spectrum. Notably present is the core influence from various metal sub-genres that are blended with different elements and aspects from rock, pop, industrial, and punk rock. The music itself is heavy, displaying a more alternative metal leaning sound pulling from her influences such as In This Moment. There are certain times where the sound drifts into separate sub-genres. Additionally, while the music is metal, it does emphasize an upbeat approach in its pop-esque melodies pulled from Rennick's influences from fellow Canadian musician Avril Lavigne. Some other influences of hers include Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Alice Cooper, which distinctively get pulled into the album. Rennick also showcases her vocal range throughout the eleven tracks with absolutely no effort at all. The music also captures her personality flawlessly, which she defines as being two sides, "one wears baby pink and Hello Kitty and listens to pop music, and the other a goth girl in fishnet stockings who listens to dark heavy metal."
Vocalist Molly Rennick shares this about the album: “I am beyond thrilled to finally be able to share our debut record after four years of working on it,” says Rennick. “I was such a perfectionist with it. I kept scrapping entire EPs’ worth of material and restarting, trying to nail the sound I was after. After working with Mitchell Marlow, we were able to nail it. It’s heavy and dark, but upbeat, fun and drenched in sexy attitude. The sound and vibe of this record are new and fresh, and I’m prouder of it than anything else I’ve done in my 22 years on this planet. I couldn’t be any more excited to unleash it!”
The album opens up with the explosive, anthemic lead single, "Alive." This fun album opener is about letting yourself loose, being happy, and being in control of your own life. This is apparent in the song's upbeat tone. The track is chock full of down-tuned guitar riffs, hammering drums, and reveals Rennick's vocal range right out of the gate. The second track, "Beautiful," takes a shift with massive aggression vocally and sonically. However, the track's chorus pulls a strong pop influence and additionally, the pre-chorus guitar riff has this track sticking out to me after numerous listens of Exorcism.
Track four is the second single, and the album's title track, "Exorcism," is yet another fun track that is utterly infectious. The sludgy bass/guitar pairing sucks me in every time before its excellent clean singing, catchy chorus. Lyrically, Rennick used horror influences for the concept and biblical metaphors to tackle a relationship where you discover new parts of yourself and let all your "evil" out. Exorcism's fourth single -and the album's sixth track- "Poltergeist" is unlike anything so far on the tracklist. Living Dead Girl incorporates a '90s industrial rock sound to the song, bringing out the band's softer side, and takes the band to an added level. Especially the harmonized choir vocals are sung on the chorus. Lyrically, and the tone and vibe of the song musically is gothic leaning. The band's music video for "Poltergeist" is combined with a horror movie-esque that encapsulates the song's message further.
"Villain" is a fast-paced number that takes a wild ride from start to finish. Musically reminiscent of a "heavy pop-punk" track -also known as easycore- with a majority of the tune wavering back into the alternative metal side of Living Dead Girl. Following "Villain" is the third single, "Escape." Primarily featuring chugging guitars, the song follows the same style of song structuring as the first two singles and includes another contagious chorus. "Escape" is about leaving a place that was holding you back; moving on to bigger and better things. Rather than staying where you feel where you don't belong, finding somewhere, you can call home. On the next track, "At The Edge," Living Dead Girl displays a groove metal intro and then returns to their softer side once more with a more hard rock-inspired leaning number that lyrically feels like a direct sequel to "Escape." The album's penultimate track is titled "Worship Me" and is one of the heavier tracks on the debut alongside the third track, "Give Up." Behind the thrashy guitar riffs and breakneck speed drums -and the little bass solo near the track's end- Rennick comes full steam ahead, demanding your attention. Rennick is looking for a reason to be crowned with respect and worshiped, and this album might be the way she gets it. The final track, "Stronger," takes a sudden direction, unlike the previous ten songs on the album. Delivering one of the most sombre tracks on the album, Rennick lays all her emotions out on the floor while explaining that everything she's been through, she's now stronger because of it all and ready to grow as a human. A perfect closure for a tremendous first outing from Living Dead Girl.
Be sure to pre-save or digitally preorder the album here. For preordering physical editions of Exorcism, including bundles of unsigned and signed CDs, vinyl, and exclusive merchandise can be done so here.