Streaming: Kyle Ball (Wake) Covers Earth A.D. Black Metal Style

Musicians have been covering Glenn Danzig’s legendary horror-punk act The Misfits since Metallica released their versions of “Green Hell” and “Last Caress” on the Garage Days EP in 1987. Some might argue that The Misfits cover business has reached the point of overkill. But we’re willing to make an exception when the covering is handled by vocalist Kyle Ball of Wake, the superlative band that received best-of-the-year list inclusion from Decibel for their two recent albums Devouring Ruin and Misery Rites. We expected quality, and Wolfsblut A.D: Earth After Death does not disappoint. Furthermore, this isn’t just a collection of covers but rather a reimagining of an entire album from a blackened punk aesthetic. Ball and his collaborators — guitarist Jordan Schritt, drummer Dave Callahan, and bassist Kellen Wyslouzil — have done something special with the record.

Stream the entire album below and read a Q&A with Ball on the making of Wolfsblut. The record was a labor of love and is available as a free Bandcamp download. Enjoy, and if you don’t get your poseur card immediately.

How did you get into the Misfits?

I was 12 when I first got into punk rock. My first punk bands were like Green Day (laughs). I think my first Misfits album was Walk Among Us, and then I got the two collections. Those three albums were staples of my life, and I listened to The Misfits all the time.

What about their music spoke to you?

Well, I’m huge into old sci-fi and horror. And there were almost two Mifists — the punk Misfits and the proto-thrash Misfits. The songs at the end of the collections were the Earth A.D. songs, and they always floored me. I didn’t even know at first the Misfits sounded like that or that Earth A.D. was a separate album. Then I got it, and I haven’t stopped listening to it in 26 years. 

Was it always your idea to cover the entire record?

Fifteen years ago, I lived in Edmonton, and I was playing in a hardcore band. I’ve thought about doing this that far back. But my original ideas were a little bit different – I thought about doing it in a grindcore way. That shifted, and I think the sound we ultimately went with suited the material better. I’ve been listening to a lot of black metal, which seems to fit the material. A grindcore approach would be blast beat heavy. The way we did it, we kept the blast beats to a minimum. 

How did you record this with COVID-19 flaring?

The three of us got together over the course of a month during the pandemic. COVID wasn’t as bad here in Canada, and we tried to stay as far away from each other as we could in the jam space. We just jammed it and then went into the studio in early November 2019 and recorded it. The thing about Earth A.D. is that no one covers these songs for the most part. People always end up covering “Skulls” or “Hybrid Moments” or “Last Caress.” Many of these songs are untouched, and I think there are half I’ve never heard covered. 

For many people into metal, Earth A.D. is the Misfits album. Why? 

I don’t know. It’s just so aggressive, and it came out at the right time and had a huge impact. 

Are there any plans for a traditional release?

A tape label reached out to me but I’m not sure what I want to do with it since it’s not my music. At first, I thought it would be cool to press it, but over time, I started feeling weird about it. 

What about getting a copy to Glenn or Jerry?

One of the tags I used on YouTube was, “please don’t sue me, Danzig.” I’m kind of afraid someone will catch wind of it and send us a cease-desist. But I would love for them to hear it and tell me what they think.