When I decide on albums to pull off the pile to review, they have to be remarkable in some way. Most of what I've reviewed of late has been remarkable in very good ways, and some releases have been absolutely amazing. The new offering from Casket Robbery, however, is not. This is over-produced and under-brutal death metal that leans heavily on its production values to complement the songwriting (which is actually decent). I wasn't going to review it initially, thinking it just one more average release in the sea of modern death metal albums. However, when an album touts its brutality as much as this one did, and then doesn't deliver the nuclear face lift I was hoping to receive, I have to say something. The record just sort of plods along, and even though there are definitely some songwriting chops on offer here, I find the ultra-modern slick production offensive to my ears. There's even those awful dub-step style digital skips in one song (like you'd hear before a bass drop - lots of deathcore bands do this). I can't deal with that stuff. Maybe I just don't understand the artistic vision here, but it seems as if the band is simply chasing how the current big bands in the scene sound, because I've definitely heard this stuff before.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Thursday, June 16, 2016
I had anticipated this release since I heard about it, since Master is one of my favorite bands (their self-titled album ranks within my top 20 ever). Paul Speckmann is delivering the vocals here, and he does exactly what I expect with his trademark delivery and inflection. He works with some different patterns here, however, and does a few things that I had not heard him do with Master before, which I appreciated. The other two members of the band will also be familiar to those with any knowledge of the underground at all, because they are members of the stalwart German thrash metal band Witchburner, who also get high marks from me. Much like the rancid old cadaver-like alchemist on the cover of the record, this album is a brew of the old sounds of death metal, and falls in line with the more simplistic sounds that made us all love this music in the first place. Heaviness trumps showing off musically, and I love it. Nothing but full speed ahead thrashing death! Some of the riffs are the kind that make you want to wreck a room, and the straight forward drums are a real asset here, as are the few blast beats that are peppered throughout the record. It will of course remind the listener just a little of (especially early) Master or Death Strike, as well as at times NunSlaughter, Cancer, or Asphyx. These are only fleeting glimpses of other bands, however, as this band has its own distinctive sound and personality. This is very strong from start to finish, and is easily one of my favorite albums from this past year so far. It will be in heavy rotation with me for a long, long time.