Murder by Death
Murder by Death, the Indiana band that takes its name from the 1976 murder mystery of the same name, are more than a little preoccupied with mystery, macabre, and theatrics.
No strangers to the melodramatic, Murder by Death debuted with Like the Exorcist, But More Breakdancing, which features an eight-minute instrumental track, purportedly played in total darkness, and followed that with Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?, a concept album that told the story of a Mexican village attacked by the devil.
Unsurprisingly, their third effort, In Bocca al Lupo (loose translation: in the mouth of the wolf) is a histrionic concept album, complete with Wild West saloon songs (“Shiola”), swashbuckling pirate anthems (“Dead Men and Sinners,” “The Organ Grinder”), haunted house music (“One More Notch”), and more than a few nods to Johnny Cash (“The Big Sleep”). Vocalist Adam Turla sounds like he spent a past life locked in the bowels of an ocean liner to cultivate his waterlogged baritone, which the band layers with eerie, cello-based instrumentals.
In Bocca al Lupo may not solve any great secret as in the band’s namesake murder mystery spoof, but Murder by Death are content to draw their swords and candlesticks and play along.