Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 10/18/2005
The Bronx Casket Co.
posted on 1/2006 By:
The fact that the The Bronx Casket Co. would be releasing a new album took me a bit by surprise. After not heaving heard from them since 2001’s Sweet Home Transylvania, I kind of figured that, like most side projects, it had just quietly died after a short life. Of course, when your lineup includes current members of Overkill, Seven Witches, and Metalium, these delays are bound to happen. In addition to various recording and performing duties fulfilled by the band’s members in the duration, mastermind D.D. Verni (Overkill) found time to bring their music to the stage for a musical production that is still in the working stages.
Speaking of downtime, in the short time since this album’s release, the band has parted ways with vocalist SpY (a.k.a. Myke Hideous (ex-Misfits)) and drummer Tim Mallare (Overkill), with Verni himself taking over vocal duties and Rob Pallotta taking over on the skins. Craziness. Anyways, on with the hootenanny.
When I first heard this album, I was disappointed and bored by it. Turns out I had some pretty inaccurate memories of their sound. So, with a little time in between proper listens, I came back to it and found that I had it all wrong. This is some mighty fine gothic rock/metal without all the pretentious cheese that often accompanies it: no elaborate atmospheric keyboard interludes, no shrill female vocals . . . you know the stuff. It sounds more like what little I remember of Sisters of Mercy than much of the Napalm Records catalog, and a whole lot better than His Infernal Majesty (H.I.M.). It just moves along at a nice solid mid-pace of rockin’ gloom.
Although album opener “Little Dead Girl” is solid, the album’s first real highlight comes with “Dream of Angels” thanks to a sweet bridge and chorus section that includes a powerful vocal and driving double bass. Then we get “Sherri Moon”, and I’m thinking, “Did they really write a song about Rob Zombie’s wife? That just seems wrong.” A little research led me to discover that the song is about pumping up a live audience, but the title does come from Verni’s desire to see the females in the audience move like she did in whatever Zombie video she danced in. Some sampled dialogue from "House of 1000 Corpses" is thrown in for good measure. The track rocks, by the way, and I’m aroused by the idea of a scantily-clad stripper dancing to this one at my bachelor party. Also in the vein of suspicious titles is “Let My People Go”, which I’m fairly certain has nothing to do with Moses and Pharoah.
BCC’s love of Lynryd Skynyrd comes to full life here as they have taken the immortal “Freebird” and completely defiled it – whether for better or worse is really up to you. The ballad has been transformed into a nine-minute funeral dirge. Parts of it I like, other parts not so much. At least when Disarray turned it into a death metal song, it was laughable. This just sort of leaves me dumbfounded. Thankfully things turn around again for the up-tempo “In My Skin”, which paves the way for the album to end with three goth-oriented tracks, just in case we forgot what the band is all about. One of them, “Mortician’s Lullabye”, is an acoustic number that does bring about a female vocalist, but she does this one straightforward, a good thing.
The worst thing I can say about this album right now is that it’s pretty two-dimensional: either goth-rock or full-on goth. So if you’re into one or the other it should be easy to find something to like here. Either way, it’s quite an enjoyable listen. Hellectric may well be the band’s best and most solid work to date and makes me wonder what The Bronx Casket Co. could accomplish if they were able to focus their full energies on this one.
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