Heavy music has always been like a drug. The more you have, the more you need, and the harder it gets, the more difficult it is to find anything hard enough. But the true legends are always the ones who can redefine extremity and broaden the sonic spectrum it can exist in. Casketmaker is one of those bands who comes along and redefines what brutal and extreme metal can be; both creatively and sonically. Their EP, “To Death” is six blasts of brutal metal-core infused chaos drabbed classily in epic atmosphere.
The band’s upcoming EP, “To Death”, is six tracks of blood-soaked, refined, and atmospheric aggression. Elements of their admitted influences such as Enterprise Earth, Chelsea Grin, Suicide Silence, and Slipknot can be heard (especially Suicide Silence), but Casketmaker is never satisfied with merely wearing their influences on their sleeves. Rather, the band synthesizes the requisite menu of blast beats and death metal chugging along with influences as diverse as Dimmu Borgir, Abigail Williams, and Johan Sebastian Bach.
The first track, “Blackout”, begins with a haunting piano refrain accompanied by dark and silky strings. Drums, guitars, and eventually, beyond guttural vocals come crashing in to dominate the mix. There’s plenty of groove, breakdowns, and break-neck-speed double kick, but that atmosphere is never lost, and the video below this review matches that sonic candy with perfect visuals.
The slaughter continues on “Od(e)” (video coming for that soon!!), but the opening tempos slow things to the sludge of doom metal. Syncopated drum and rhythm guitar work under-score vocalist Michael Cobin’s seething and hellish delivery. Eventually, back come the black metal keys, which really help anchor this EP in a “world”. Ultimately, that’s what this writer looks for and loves most of all. This EP is a journey, not just a collection of throwaway songs that didn’t go on another release. In this industry, album-like statements are getting harder and harder to pull off in succinct ways, so a tip of the hat is in order here.
“Backstabber” picks the tempos back up for some postively Morbid Angel-esque guitar and drum work, which are interspersed with more of the Metalcore breakdowns that let you know this is Casketmaker. “Inflicted” also has a video coming out soon, which is great news. It’s a highlight.
By the time you’re halfway through, you know where you are. This is a meeting point for all forms of extreme and punishing metal. Lacking the elitism that makes a lot of underground extreme music a turn off to some (including, at times, this writer) is also a plus. These guys are here to melt your face. And they’re keeping there tool-belts open to evolution, “To Death” . To hell with whatever “real metal” is or isn’t. Bands like Casketmaker decide and define that for themselves. Keep your eyes on these guys. If lava begins seeping into your living room from the cracks in the floorboard, you’re probably listening to Casketmaker.
After dropping “To Death” on August 27th, the band are working on a cover of Slipknot’s “Wherein Lies Continue” for an upcoming tribute album, as well as the above-mentioned music videos.