Music » Band of the Week


Smoke and Mirrors (


We're so used to seeing Marilyn Manson rub his pale ass against holy artifacts that it's easy to forget how exciting his band's music once was. The full-length debut from Cleveland's Keratoma sparks with rage, nearly re-creating Manson's band at its peak. But, with all respect to double-M's work, he seldom came off as pissed as Keratoma sounds on each of Smoke and Mirrors' 17 tracks.

Keratoma is made up of the principals from the former Slutbox, the main difference being former guitarist Chris Simmons' move to vocals, where he snarls about mass murder, drugs, and betrayal. Ex-Mushroomhead drum tech Tom Shaffner produced and mixed the disc at 'Head's Filthy Hands studio, and it sounds like a major-label release. The fast songs -- most of them really fast -- are gritty industrial thrash: Imagine Slayer's song structures, with the wild guitar leads replaced by operatic samples, helter-skelter keyboards that sound like an evil calliope, and beats fast enough to make a drummer need oxygen. Electro-rock is back, Cleveland.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.