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“Oculus Infernum” (remaster) by Van Helsing’s Curse

Artist: Van Helsing’s Curse
Title: “Oculus Infernum” (remaster)
Label: Fangoria Musick
Release Date:
Genre: Symphonic Horror Rock
Rating: 4/5

I reviewed the initial release of Van Helsing’s Curse as one of my very first reviews several years ago and now that it has been re-issued on Fangoria Musick I felt that it was high time to revisit some of these thoughts. Read on Fiends and Fans of things that go bump in the night a dark and sinister adventure awaits you.

It was during the Halloween season of 2003 that we first saw the arrival of Van Helsing’s Curse join up to the world of Symphonic Power Rock and to understand them best you should think of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra with a devilishly devious Halloween twist. Because while the TSO brings you the spirit of Christmas and goodwill so do the members of the VHC make you aware that there is something out there, that you weren’t imagining the noise you heard in the middle of the night and that sometimes being afraid of the dark is the best idea you ever had. With all of the Christmas Carols that are available by the pound it was high time for the Feast Of Samhain to get its due and have a soundtrack of it’s own to help the ghouls and boys celebrate the day. The group has made it their business to address in Symphonic Rock fashion the long overlooked Halloween Season and while we have music like Alice Cooper, The Misfits and Wednesday 13 each delivering a spooky show it is clear that Van Helsing’s Curse will take us on a different journey altogether. The enterprise is the brainchild of Dee Snider (Twisted Sister’s notable front man) and Joe Franco (drummer for Twisted Sister, Widowmaker and the Good Rats) who together set out to do this holiday right. The pair are also joined by guitarist Al Pitrelli (Savatage, Megadeth, TSO) and violinist Mark Wood (TSO) who each help bring this material to life, or dare I say “back to life”, with their contributions.
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“Oculus Infernum” by Van Helsing’s Curse

Artist: Van Helsing’s Curse
Title: “Oculus Infernum”
Label: Koch Records
Release Date: 10/7/2003
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 8/10

Halloween 2003 saw the coming of Van Helsing’s Curse to the world of symphonic power rock (I will refer to them as “VHC” for the remainder of this writing. The best way to describe The VHC, is to think of them as a Halloween version of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO for short). Most of you are probably aware of or have heard of the TSO by now, this is a group that covers the Christmas Season (and does it amazingly well I might add).

The VHC have made it the time to address the long overdue Halloween Season. Granted, we have Alice Cooper, Misfits and other great performers that have a spookified theme to the shows, this however takes us on a different journey altogether. VHC is the brainchild of Dee Snider (Twisted Sister’s frontman) and Joe Franco (who many people will remember as Twisted Sister’s drummer for the “Love Is For Suckers” album as well as Widowmaker and the Good Rats if I can pull a reference from way back in time). Joining VHC is Mark Wood who also plays live with the TSO on lead violin. He is amazing, and does this group credit.
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