There’s something old school and warmly familiar about The Casket Crew’s Coercion; perhaps it’s the purity of the traditional four piece band? Whatever it is, it gives me a cosy feeling deep in my belly. The opener is Coercion and, as I said before, it’s old school thrashy riffage with a harsh (or is that hoarse?) delivery. It’s not a bad start and fires me up for the following track Bones where the guitar tones are rich and the harmonies are lovely. James Rodrock (vocals/guitars) and Danny Mingus (lead guitars) pull out some sweet riffage and lead work, while James throws in some cleaner vocals before slipping back into some solid screaming and growling. The mixture of alternating vocal styles keeps the track fresh and I’m digging it.
James Casady’s fudgy bass gets a nice look in with They Live, We Sleep as an almost black metal rasp reels across some thrashy rhythms. The lead guitar work is excellent when it drops in. Doomy elements abound, as one would expect, with a title like Funeral Dirge but there are some weird vocal harmonies that don’t quite fit (to my mind, at least) with the crunching rhythm guitars. Again, the lead work is most excellent. Watery Graves shows off drummer Jesse Newland’s tight percussion work but the constant rasping vocals have become a touch repetitive and I yearn for some more of that guttural vs clean vocal mashup from earlier on the album. Despite an ill-fitting almost spoken backing vocal that sits weirdly in the mix, I’m still getting a warm glow from the old school vibe.
Dethanol is sharp and crunchy like a nice crisp apple – and has almost groovy air to it. Mucho fantastico! Sadly All Consuming seems a bit slap-dash – almost like a bit of padding to an otherwise rather good album, while final track New World Chaos should have finished the album on a bang (and it does, kind of but not really…?).
Overall, rather good, and I’m looking forward to see how The Casket Crew will develop and follow up this (not too shabby) release.
“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
“…a consistent, enjoyable metal album.” -James Bushnell The Metal Observer