The 2021 Holiday of Horror with Macabre

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

William Shakespeare, The Tempest

The holiday season is upon us again! A time marked by merriment and stimulation of the senses! Who can forget the tastes and smells of the kitchen during the holidays? The sight of the first snowfall? Or the feeling of a toasty fire on a frosty night? And the sound of…well, for those of us at Reggie’s Rock Club on December 18th, the sound of Chicago’s murder metal madmen, Macabre.

Macabre has made the Holiday of Horror an annual tradition; a wintertime concert now going for twenty three years. Fans can spend an evening listening to the trio’s twisted brand of heavy metal that focuses on notorious murderers. Formed in 1984 by Corporate Death (vocals/guitar), Nefarious (vocals/bass guitar), and Dennis the Menace (drums), Macabre still retains its original lineup. Unfortunately 2020 didn’t feature a Holiday of Horror due to COVID-19, of course. But the band did release a new full-length album, Carnival of Killers. I wrote about it being one of my favorite records of 2020, chock full of the sick humor, demented tales, and stellar musicianship that Macabre fans have come to expect. Plenty of new tracks from Carnival of Killers were on the set list, including Your Window Is Open, Joe Ball Was His Name, Stinky, Tea Cakes, Slaughterhouse, and The Wheels on the Bug.

Overall, the show was a blast. Every Holiday of Horror I’ve been to has had a packed crowd, and this one was no different. What was once a cult interest that would surely draw sideways glances is now a widespread topic of fascination. Take a look at the podcast charts: as of December 2021, you can find shows like Crime Junkie, Morbid, and My Favorite Murder occupying top slots. Perhaps in times of despair people enjoy basking in darkness instead of light.

Check out some photos from the show below.