• Naomi Sanders

LOUDER REVIEWS: Ice Nine Kills - Undead & Unplugged Live At The Overlook Hotel

It’s not often a band gets the opportunity to play in a famous location; even luckier if you’re a band that has actually sung about said location. This is the case for Ice Nine Kills as they hosted an acoustic show within The Stanley Hotel, aka the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel from The Shining. Like playing their song “Rock The Boat” in Thekla, a ship-turned-venue in Bristol, things like this come once in a lifetime and should be taken as soon as they are offered. Recorded and released as an EP, how did the band deal with translating their metal/horrorcore sound into a stripped-down setting?

Surprisingly well, actually. Out of all the songs they chose from The Silver Scream, the band chose five and recreated them in an unplugged setting. “SAVAGES” still has the same strength as the original, as well as having more to the music than just guitars strumming chords. The guitars add riffs and countermelodies into the mix, something that happens throughout the EP, and works well for all of the songs, but especially in this opening track. It makes it more communal, like the fans and band are 'savages' together. “Thank God It’s Friday” captures that campfire spirit as if hearing it at Camp Crystal Lake, especially with the guitars and Spencer Charnas’s vocals. The harmonies also work really well here and show the musical skill between each member. “A Grave Mistake”, even stripped down, shows the song’s beauty and how it’s sweet, soft, and soulful all in one. Truly one of the band’s best songs. Their other best song, “Love Bites”, is also featured on the EP, with great harmonies and keeping that tragic beauty. However, the sudden “YEAH!” after the opening line is quite jarring and takes the listener out of the moment. Finally, “Enjoy Your Slay”, based on The Shining, fits perfectly within the surroundings, probably the most ethereal sounding track, adding to that tense and creepy nature. It also makes a very good closer to the EP. 

Overall, it’s a very well done Unplugged EP, encompassing the original nature of the songs whilst reimagining them in a new way. It shows that Ice Nine Kills are clever and talented musicians and ready to take on any challenge within the band and its music. In summary, great music, and much is to be anticipated for what they do next.

Undead & Unplugged: Live At The Overlook Hotel is OUT NOW!

Check out this video of the band performing 'Enjoy Your Slay' live: