Does huffing on this slab of death metal provide a good high or is it a bad trip? Read on…
Casket Huffer a death metal band from good ol’ Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you’re hesitant upon hearing that, let me correct your thinking. Cheyenne is a major hub for talented musicians and artists, as well as having a metal scene. Casket Huffer’s new album is one I have been looking forward to sinking my teeth into. I will provide a track by track breakdown; however, this is not my first listen.
Something avid metal fans will be pleased with is that this album doesn’t fuck around in getting to the good stuff. There isn’t a five-minute intro of wind whistling or other stupid nonsense.
What starts as more of mid-tempo sludge of brutality quickly escalates into a darkened sound that is both brutal and mature. I want to focus on the word mature; these musicians are adept with their tools of carnage. T’s vocals soar above the brutality of the instruments.
Tyrants jumps right into the brutality. Excellent guitar work and the faster tempo make this song establish the album as a whole. The more blackened vocals show this band has many tricks up their sleeves. The vocal differences come quickly and never overstay their welcome (something a lot of other bands could take note of).
Listening to the album on my computer I notice the bass isn’t as present, which I blame more on the laptop than the band. The guitars and drums come through clearly with a level of distortion that still allows each beat to be heard. For the full experience, put this album in a good stereo.
The solo work on this song might be one of my favorites. It reminds me a hellish nightmare ride. The album drips with a dark carnivalesque atmosphere of terror.
Gospels of Scum
The title song might be the most shredding of the album (and is often the one I track back to most often). The creepy interlude disrupts the brutality, but functions to add the atmosphere that the album creates.
This song in particular reminds of a faster and darker Dead Congregation (another excellent band). Both bands clearly know their audiences. I will elaborate on this further below.
Coming off one of the best songs of the album we get the grooviest. The sound of this song could be argued to be slightly out of place, but it is so damn catchy I don’t think it matters.
The second half of this track showcases the skill of the band once again. If I were a band manager (which I most certainly am not) I would suggest they open with this track. The numerous shifts in groove and speed show the whole spectrum of what these musicians are capable of doing.
Here the listener is bombarded with a brutal hurricane of guitars (imagine good 1349 playing death metal and with better vocals). The guitar work in this track is worth celebrating, but I personally wanted more of the opening. Probably one of the best songs on the album.
Once again, the band’s maturity is showcased. The track leaves you wanting more.
After a surprisingly broody intro, we get a fury of a song on this one. At this point in the album (if not before) the band has hit its stride. That is not to say complacent, but the style of this song continues to push forward the effect the album is trying to create.
As I listen to this song, I am reminded of great death metal of the past. Not much to add on this particular song, but the album doesn’t slow down.
I Hate This Fucking World
Extol Unholy Adoration
The longest and probably best song on the album. My personal favorite is “Casket Huffer,” but I imagine this one is going to be more popular in general.
The scope of the song stretches beyond the album itself. The grandiose outro works to show several things. First, that this band doesn’t whimper out toward the latter half of the album (looking at you, most metal of 2016). Second, here the listener can see a growth of musicality that both fits the album and hints toward what might come. If we hear “Inertia” as the beginning of the journey, then “Extol Unholy Adoration” is the rising of the journey to another plane.
The album marks a welcome return to frills-free metal. There are no fancy keyboard tricks, bells, or trumpets within this album. No nonsense moments or album filler. The disc runs 32 minutes, and we get 32 minutes of metal. It is almost sad that such a concept is rare.
The maturity of this band, I think, is in part what allows them to be so successful. There are no illusions about what this band is about, and who they are for. They are not trying to shoehorn in other genres for marketability. Now, this does mean that this album will be for more “true” metal fans, but I doubt they care. They have provided a nice healthy slab of meaty death metal that does not disappoint. (Granted, the uninitiated might not appreciate this, but who cares?)
Now, no album can be perfect. What are the flaws of this one? Well, for me, the length. The entire album can cycle on my trip to and from work, which feels a little short. Some see shorter albums as a positive (and I would rather a short album than one with filler). It is a good thing the album leaves the listener wanting more, and the shorter length does make repeat listens easier to do.
The album is now available on Spotify, which is awesome. I hope this band gets the exposure they deserve. However, this is not a big band. I encourage all readers who enjoy the album to purchase it. As excellent as Spotify is, we should encourage bands that aren’t peddling the same shit year after year to keep up their good work. 666/666