Haddonfield – Ghosts of Salem LIVE (CD)

Haddonfield - Ghosts of Salem


EMP Label Group

Airescope Records

I myself may be 25-years old but in my heart beats an old ass man who screams for Practical FX in horror flicks and for Black Sabbath to reign supreme in music. I feel like in all our horror loving hearts we have an affinity for metal and rock that matches our love for all things gore. If you’re like me music was at its best between sixty-five and ninety-five.  Give me some badass guitars, big hair, bodily dismemberment and songs about telling the establishment to fuck-off and I’m all good. The same can be said I think for horror icon, Adam Green.

If you’ve followed Adam’s career you would know that back in the day before Hatchet was made he was in a very successful live band called Haddonfield, which reveled in pyrotechnics, badass solos and much like Green’s idol, Dee Snider, was not going to stop until your face melted thanks to hard-pounding music. He had a choice at one point to continue on with Haddonfield or go to L.A. to try and get his filmmaking career off the ground. Thanks to his film Coffee and Donuts, as we’ve seen with his amazing filmography and copious amounts of free entertainment he provides for his ravenous fans; he chose the latter path with the echoes of his band’s loud tunes still in his head.

Last year’s live Movie Crypt podcast, (he and co-host Joe Lynch stayed up for 72-hours straight in order to raise money for the Save the Yorkies Foundation) saw the introduction and reintroduction to the music of Haddonfield as Adam played two of their popular songs from back-in-the-day on the live show. This caught the ear of myself and many other fans, eventually culminating in a deal with Megadeth‘s David Ellefson, under his EMP Label Group, who helped to create ArieScope Records with Adam. A label under which they recently released a live recording of one of Haddonfield‘s shows entitled Ghosts of Salem which in and of itself is an old live recording in Salem Massachusetts. Simply put… it’s badass. It’s everything I could’ve wanted from a mind like Green’s and the answer to an old soul’s musical taste like mine.

The Halloween theme intro accompanied by ominous guitar riffs echoes with screaming fans and Adam’s stage presence on the album, “You are going to be a fucking loud crowd I can feel it!” letting out a crazed laugh, you know you are ready for insanity.

Jon Rabbitt’s guitar comes in with back beats from drummer Mike Albiero and a goddamn sexy ass bass line from Chris Permatteo as Adam, in Dee Snider-like fashion, calls upon the crowd to get ready. Silence falls. Then the instruments fall back in for a driving rock beat thats super-solid from all sides. The whole album has what a lot of bands are missing today and that’s cohesiveness from all parts of the band. Each member gets a great moment in each song, and no instrument is wasted; instead at the ready to compliment the other. There’s the timeless joke that you can never really hear the bass in rock songs but Permatteo really give some great grooves in between all of Rabbitt’s riffs and solos that mesh with Albiero’s drumming perfectly. Every song gives Permatteo a chance to show off his chops on the bass.

You can feel the band’s love for the music. Green is very well rounded musically as he’s able to listen to Kix one minute and GWAR the next. I can only imagine the rest of the band being the same way as all the songs sound different and seem influenced by different things. The opening song, “Something I Need,” seems like the kind of build-up you would hear in a Twisted Sister song but once the beat drops it gets super heavy and the guitar gives off almost a speed metal vibe. Once Adam’s vocals come in we’re treated to a definite nineties-style voice and lyrics that evoke that grunge style of the time. That being said, when he screams it’s a mixture of eighties hair metal and heavy metal raspy growls that is just seems fresh nowadays.

Then we get into the 60’s Doors-type grooves of “The Devil Told Me,” which feels like a long lost anthem of that era. Rabbitt’s guitar jingles like a shanty tune and keyboard against Albiero’s super fast paced drum precision. This song feels like a danceable tune with messed-up lyrics that end with “Yeah he told me kill your mom kill your dad then kill yourself!”

One of my favorite things about Ozzy Osbourne is the fact that every time he puts out an album, the man has an anthem for it. “Among the Dogs” is the anthem of a whole generation that should’ve been echoed everywhere and forever. This tune is timeless as it’s also relatable. Everyone has had that point in their life where everywhere you looked the landscape seemed like hell. Things seemed hopeless. Living in poverty while trying desperately to make it. It’s tunes like this that the rock community sticks to. No matter what age you are, because we all had that moment where we’re at our lowest and for some of us we are goddamn proud of it. “This is how we live, how we drink, how we smoke, how we fuck and how we die. Among the Dogs!” With that Rabbitt comes in with a soulful yet proud guitar as Adam commands the crowd to howl!

For those who know Adam Green’s career and life, it hasn’t been an easy one. But it’s been the life he’s chosen to fight for, and thats one of the many reasons his fans fight for him and by him.”Among the Dogs” is the one that rings truest to Green, as it’s all about living your life your way, “making it day to day,” as many  tell you how bad and wrong you are in living. But you keep going as you “curse the gods and live among the dogs.” The solos in this song are some of the best on the album and the bass goes almost Cliff Burton, as it beats like a damn rhythm guitar for how heavy it hits and perfect it is. Backing vocals are excellent echoing Adam and the sheer spirit and passion he puts in this song. This is the anthem of anthems.

“Disenchanted” opens up with a sweet guitar intro that goes into a bluesy melody as the song is reminiscent of Skid Row‘s ballads and the lyrics get you right in the heart. If you’ve ever been hurt and had trouble moving on to something new, this is the song for you. Once you learn the lyrics you can’t help but chant along. “Open your eyes my dear angel friend. Fly like an eagle. Let your heart love again.” It’s super soulful and so different from the rest of the album. I could easily see this song hit big like back in the day alongside songs like “Noting Else Matters” or “November Rain.”

With “Disenchanted” being about trying to move on, I think it’s funny that it’s followed by “Broken”, my favorite song on the album, as it opens with Haddonfield‘s rock rendition of Earth Angel. “Earth angel, Earth angel. Won’t you be mine. My darling dear, love you for all time. I’m just a fool. A Fucking fool in love with…you….bitch!” This is the heaviest song on the album in every sense with all the instruments sounding like they’re on speed, and the vocals possessed.

Knowing the story of how Coffee and Donuts came to be, which eventually evolved into Holliston, this song makes total sense for how it goes. That movie and show were directly influenced by a real-life break up of Adam’s, and this song plays like the musical version of that break-up. He goes insane on this song and pours out everything he has in it. “I keep thinking there’s something wrong with me. Am I evil or just a fucked up personality? Positive is a thing that I don’t understand! Negatives seem to rule my heart and my head.” This song explodes with sheer hate and animosity toward the bullshit of the world, and relationships with people that don’t understand you. Green goes full on transcendent here. He belts out the lyrics crazily playing on the crowd as several parts he goes straight demonic and at one point. During these moments, I swear to god, he sounds exactly like Oderus from GWAR.”Disenchanted” is a rallying cry for those of us who have to get through situations like that. The guitars are as always great, but it’s Permatteo’s bass that bursts out in between riffs and lyrics that sound like damn explosions. You can’t help but picture Permatteo just losing it on his bass. This is hands down the most intense song on the album and satisfies on so many levels.

“Newborn” is a crazy song that starts of a bit melancholy as Albiero’s drums enter in followed by a nice bass groove and crunching guitar. The whole song makes you feel as if  you’ve conquered the world as Adam bellows out the chorus with “This world is mine!” in a crazed scream. It’s a really great song about just simply living and conquering your own life… and making it yours.

Finally we have the “Spirit of the Young” which enters in with a heavy guitar riff and echoes with a guitar wail against pyrotechnics and the crowd getting louder and louder. The drum beat in this is pretty sick with the bass exploding again between silences from the other instruments and vocals. The vocals follow the instrumentals so perfectly in this song, and makes it feel just that more epic. This also has one of the best solos on the album, that just flows between power metal and speed.”Spirit of the Young” will make anybody remember their youth and drive you to that spirit. “No matter what they tell you, no matter what the radio tries to force down your fucking throats. Rock is not dead, Salem!” Explosions and shredding and drumming. Thats how you end a goddamn live album.

I’m a huge fan of KISS and their ALIVE! albums, but this is sheer passion from both band and crowd on this album. I am insanely jealous of anyone that got to see them back in the day. If you’re looking for some music that revels in that balls-to-the-wall insanity, and wears its heart on its sleeve with every bit of rock and metal, then this is indeed proof rock is not dead and we don’t need the bullshit the radio feeds us!

Track Listing:
1 – “Something I Need” (Live)
2 – “The Devil Told Me” (Live)
3 – “Among the Dogs” (Live)
4 – “Disenchanted” (Live)
5 – “Broken” (Live)
6 – “Newborn” (Live)
7 – “Spirit of the Young” (Live)


  • C.D.
User Rating 4 (9 votes)


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