March 16, 2011

Music Review: Bronx Casket Company - Antihero

I swear I have head of Bronx Casket Company from somewhere, I am just not sure where. I am pretty sure that this is the first time I have ever heard them, though. Come to think of it, I might be thinking of Casket Crew, which I believe is the Type O Negative fanclub. Whatever the case is the bottom line is I have the band's fourth release, Antihero, blasting through my headphones and I like what I hear. The sound is familiar yet fresh, incredibly catchy and something I am going to want to listen to over and over.

The band was formed in 1998 by Overkill bassist DD Verni with Seven Witches guitarist Jack Frost. DD formed the band as a way to explore other musical endeavors. The result, at least with this release, is considerably different from Overkill. It is still metal but it is less thrash and more gothic, more accessible, yet still creatively speaking, edgy and well conceived.

The immediate comparison that comes to mind is Rob Zombie. They would make a great double bill. The music straddles the line between hard rock and metal, quite well at that. The music and lyrics have a dark, horror tinged edge to them while retaining something a playful aura, like a haunted house. Yes, a lot like what Rob Zombie has perfected but this still stands as its own beast, completely worthwhile.

Simply put, Antihero rocks. It is a shame they are only a studio band, but considering this is a side project and the number of years that come and go between their release, we should be happy we get anything at all. Or in my case happy that I have finally been exposed to their particular brand.

Opening with the title track, "Antihero," we are instantly introduced to what will be our lives one and only focus for the following hour. It has some odd horror-like sounds with an ominous guitar line before everything kicks in and the rock takes over. It is followed by "Bonesaw," with its great Zombie-esque opening gallop and horror-show theremin.

There is so much to like about this album. Aside from the collection of originals, there are some nice covers too. Within the track listing you will find Queen's "Death on Two Legs" and Paul Anka's "My Way." Yes, you read that right and they sound good!

This release finds DD Verni taking on the vocal duties for the first time. He sounds great too. DD doesn't have a great range, but his rasp fits in perfectly and adds just the right flavor to those solid riffs. Another surprise you will find is the presence of Symphony X's Mike Romeo lending his considerable talents by providing all of the guitar solos.

The Bronx Casket Company is a band that I do not think will ever be considered among the greats, but so what? These guys know how to put it down and this album is just a pure slice of audible joy. Press play, turn it up, proceed to rock. Repeat.

Highly Recommended.

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