Review: “To Death” by Casketmaker

Mixed and Mastered by Bodysnatcher drummer Chris Whited at 1776 Recordings (Traitors, The Stygian Complex), the debut EP from Pittsburgh Deathcore quintet Casketmaker has been a long timing coming with singles in 2018’s “Hanging“, 2019’s “Backstabber” and 2020’s “Blackout” however everything vocalist Michael Cobin, guitaist Junior Cheatham, bassist Steve Buvalla, drummer Jake Mingoy and guitarist Brad Forte have done thus far has been done in the right way. A wealth of music videos including the one for “Inflicted” which saw them work with Eric DiCarlo at SquareUp Studios (Signs Of The Swarm, Lorna Shore, Monument Of A Memory), some small tours and shows with Fleshbore, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Befell and Great American Ghost each of which has been the perfect step in building momentum and setting things up for a white hot future…

Atmospheric keys add that symphonic touch to the introduction of “Blackout” that are then mirrored by the lead guitars before the skull crushing breakdown pile up begins in the house of gold and bones accompanied by the plague winds of the earsplitting vocals from Cobin that bounce between the Worlds of Deathcore and Slam with vicious and blood thirsty intent. There are few in Deathcore whose vocals quite literally put the fear of God into you at the same time as raising all the hairs on the back of your neck Cobin is very much in that category. Sonically the band may have a Deathcore foundation but they have so much more to them that simply that genre, blurring the lines into the Blackened in a similar way to Enterprise Earth with brutal blast beat sections while bringing the haunting and melancholic leads from Death Metal before that opening whirlwind of a track comes of a breathless finale. That melting pot is then added to in “Od(E)” with rap screams and a thunderous bass drive during a punishing pummelling that feels like going ten rounds with Mike Tyson as the vultures circle over head looking for fresh meat to consume before “Backstabber” gives us the kind of face melting solo that most Death Metal bands kill for. Menacing and sinister throughout, it’s primed and ready to strike with melancholic leads between staccato riff breaks that give it an instant appeal, the lines between sub-genres so blurred to this point that Casketmaker have created their own hybrid Frankenstein like beast. Aiden Versteegh of Falsifier is an obvious choice of guest for “Haunted” and he goes toe to toe with Cobin in the worst possible way, the downtempo finale being the absolute Chef’s Kiss of the record before the white knuckle thrill ride of “Hanging” provides the soundscape to the kind of Horror film that you just can’t look away from despite the depravity that you bare witness to. Drummer Jake Mingoy’s performance throughout borders on the inhuman to the point that you’d have to question if anyone aside from Kevin Talley (Chimara, Dying Fetus, Delphian) could match him. Then you have the shotgun blast and flatline of “Inflicted“… [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Blackout
  2. Od(E)
  3. Backstabber
  4. Haunted (ft. Aiden Versteegh of Falsifier)
  5. Hanging
  6. Inflicted

To Death” by Casketmaker is out now and is available over at bandcamp.

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