This review originally appeared on The Metal Observer website on March 3.
Having never listened to The Casket Crew before, and seeing the band described as “Doom Thrash”, I really didn’t know what to expect with Coercion, their third album.
As well as the rather strange, I’d venture to say even contradictory, mix of genres above, I’ve seen The Casket Crew called straight thrash, but I’m going to have to go against the grain and call this death metal. It’s slow at times, but not doom-slow. While there might be occasional thrash elements, the band this reminds me of far more than any other is Bolt Thrower. And you wouldn’t call them Thrash, would you? The vocals are more death metal than anything else, sounding a bit like Blood Ritual-era Samael and perhaps Morgoth or Vader in their less frenetic moments. The drumming and some of the rhythm guitars may suggest thrash, but the riffs, vocals and solos are death metal – I rest my case (and fully expect many people to completely disagree with me).
In common with the mighty Bolt Thrower is that for most of the duration of this album, the band creates a bruising, relentless sound. There are variations to keep it interesting, such as occasional faster, thrash-like passages and more melodic moments.
The most Bolt Thrower-ish song here is probably “Dethanol” – a great track with an infectious riff marching through it and a good guitar solo that brings to mind Baz Thomson’s work. Thomson comes to mind again with the solo on seven, which is another nice one. “Bones” is one of the slower tracks, but has faster sections and another nice solo and never quite strays into doom territory. “Funeral Dirge” is a significant, yet welcome, shift – it’s quite melancholic, with mournful-sounding male choir vocals and a melodic guitar solo. These three songs are the highlights, but not the only good songs as there are no poor tracks on here.
Although the debate over the genre of this band may rage on, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s death, thrash, doom, disco, or experimental jazz (etc) – what counts is that this is a consistent, enjoyable metal album. – James Bushnell
More Praise for Coercion:
“An enjoyable album with more depths and layers than you might have thought, highly recommended!” Luke Hayhurst on Destructive Music
“A positively solid effort, so don’t let it go unheard…” 8/10 The Grim Tower