Casket - Urn

Despite there being about fifty plus bands with the name Casket, and probably 75 percent of being death metal, Germany’s Casket have a rather unique story. They’re deeply rooted in the late 90s sound with a blend of Bolt Thrower meets Cannibal Corpse so old school, fast death metal fans are going to really enjoy it. After one full length debut back in ’98 these guys kind of just disappeared for ten years and suddenly in 2008 resurrected and just started cranking out albums at a consistent pace.

What fans have here is pretty much a mix of studio and live tracks on the EP “Urn,” but it is a good sample of what Casket can do. One can definitely hear the Suffocation influence on a track like ‘Bombing Graves’ especially in the vocals, but with the distorted overtones and rather groove churning pace there is definitely a mix of Cannibal Corpse and even a little slam like Insect Inside. The production is clean enough everything can be heard but for those looking for that slightly muddled, yet still groovy tone there is ‘The Rope;’ slightly faster but not as head splitting.

Then we get the thrashier speed death pieces like ‘Amnesia’ before segwaying into the more groove laden death metal with the Bolt Thrower-esh ‘To Separate Flesh From Bone’ and ‘Final Predicament.’ While they aren’t anything new with the catchy riffs and chugging drum patterns one cannot deny the new music here is certainly head bang worthy. Then there are the live tracks that are definitely more distorted and crackly, which may sound a bit worse compared to the others when hearing ‘Onwards To Destruction,’ but the bass is much more audible and thumping so that is a bonus element compared to the studio tracks. If there is one thing live death metal can usually do right- and Casket proves it- is that the bass gets its chance to shine rather than be buried. There are some tracks that sound cleaner and a little more ‘in your face’ like ‘Kill The Red Lamb’ which is a solid, staple Casket track, and that rumbling interlude of dripping, sludgy grim tones is just awesome. As a result, new listeners especially have a great mix of what Casket can do live and studio, and each has their faults but also successes. Definitely a mix of groovy death metal that injects the old 90s flair back into the modern world.

3 / 5 STARS

1. Bombing Graves
2. The Rope
3. Amnesia
4. To Separate The Flesh From Bone
5. Final Predicament
6. Onwards To Destruction (live)
7. Kill The Red Lamb (live)
8. Faces Of The Dead (live)