Release DetailsLABEL Glacial Records
RELEASED ON 12/6/2005
Dance on the Death Nerve
posted on 9/2006 By:
Casket Architects, a self-proclaimed “sci-fi deth rock” group from New York, are a fairly cool band who caught my attention due to a paragraph-long rip that appears on their website regarding the current state of underground music, focusing on the obsession with image and fashion within the scene at the expense of the music itself. It seemed evident that the band were confident about their sound, and that I would probably be able to write a review that praised them for their opinions and their music, or one that trashed them for their lack of both an aesthetic and songwriting abilities. Luckily, a cursory listen to this release demonstrated to me that they’re a strong outfit who are capable of making interesting and unique music, and as such, my writeup follows the former of my two possible concepts.
Casket Architects style is primarily hardcore punk, but they incorporate many elements of other genres; “Chamber Melody,” a drum machine and keyboard driven interlude, reminded me of those charming mood-builders that Morbid Angel used to include on their early work; likewise, the riffing on the title track approaches black metal during certain sections. I suppose that the band fits into “post-hardcore,” a term that I personally dislike, but one that might give the reader a better idea of what to expect. Dance on the Death Nerve is a grating, discordant release, and I use those two adjectives in the most positive sense. However, the band doesn’t eschew catchy songwriting, and the juxtaposition of the more experimental elements with the band’s staple hardcore sound is quite appealing.
The band’s technical abilities outstrip those of the average hardcore band, and they are no less tight than is expected in the genre. I certainly got the sense that the band members were using restraint and being sure to put together tasteful arrangements instead of showing off their technical skills at the expense of coherent songwriting. The vocalist is of the screamo school, a vocal style that I find pretty irritating; however, it will probably appeal to the band’s target audience. The production on Dance on the Death Nerve is strong as well, sounding full and thick without losing its lucidity.
Definitely look into this release if you consider yourself a fan of hardcore. I’m not the biggest aficionado, but I know quality when I hear it, and this is a band who are writing music worth listening to. The reader would do well to get into Casket Architects before they break big.
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