Review: “There Are Things Worse Than Death” by Earth Caller

This was a f***ing bomb. For a few seconds, this place was Armageddon. There was a firefight!” ~ Willem Dafoe: Paul Smecker, The Boondock Saints

For those who aren’t in the know Misstiq is keyboard sorceress extraordinaire with a reputation for pimping Deathcore by adding symphonic touches and making them sound like the cover artwork on “Tempo Of The Damned” by Exodus looks. She’s not a remixer but an embellisher, someone who has what it takes to take something one dimensional and make it 3D with her bejewelling capabilities and if you haven’t heard what she’s done before, we recommend checking out her work on several cuts by Impending Doom.  For the first half of “There Are Things Worse Than Death” by Earth Caller, she’s been given a trio of singles to work her magic on and Willem Dafoe is summed them up perfectly…

…We’ve been following Melbourne Australian Metallic Hardcore crew Earth Caller since 2018’s “Crystal Death” landed and gave us a slice of honesty from vocalist Josh Collard that is both gritty and raw alongside a plethora of riffs that harks back to an earlier time and wears its influences upon its sleeves. This time out after the heavier EP “Crook“, the band have teamed up with Misstiq to add that aforementioned other dimension to their material and in all honesty the collaboration on these cuts is so good that it calls for them to get her on board full time. Welcoming us to the apocalypse is introduction piece “Burrow” which sets the dark and violent tone like we’ve just got off a train in Gotham City by night. before “Choke” swings violently between the influence of Winds Of Plague and Counterparts with the kind of orchestration and synths that give everything a Hollywood style grandeur. It sounds nothing short of monstrous but its actually the addition of unexpected vocals Misstiq intertwining with frontman Josh Collard introspective to the point of desperation barks that makes it huge; it’s another slab of honesty lyrically as he cathartically vents his spleen about mistakes he’s made on his journey through this life. The dark clouds are overhead and the shroud of darkness in the windy city is closing in. “Avarice” then takes things into another direction as a mid paced thunderbolt that bludgeons while having the plot twist of a top drawer thriller while the choral and synth moments make the breakdowns sound absolutely massive. The second half of the EP comes to life with “Dirge” which continues to pack just as much punch as the previous cuts with an incendiary fire in the guitars that needs to be heard to be believed; the pacing is simply electric and the breakdown finale is brutal. While there are hints at the Earth Caller of old with some melodic harmony clean vocal parts, for the lion share of the time they have evolved into a heavier beast and that rings true as well with “I Will Return” because as Collard screams for vengeance and his barking dog moment is something unexpected; its the Slipknot inspired kickdrum stomp alongside the slice and dice guitars that steels the show [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Burrow (ft. Misstiq)
  2. Choke (ft. Misstiq)
  3. Avarice (ft. Misstiq)
  4. Dirge
  5. I Will Return

There Are Things Worse Than Death” by Earth Caller is out now

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