Released: 2005, Regain Records
Reviewer: Arto Lehtinen
The Bronx Casket Co could easily be said to be a therapy band led by Jack Frost and the Overkill basswizard DD.Verni as other bands of those guys usually keep them on the road or writing new tunes for Overkill and Seven Witches. Besides those guys involved in the outfit, the former Overkill drummer Tim Mallare and Misfits’ Mike Hideous aka Spy on the vocals belong to this dismal five piece as well.
HELLECTRIC is already the third opus released in a row as the previous outputs were unleashed by Massacre Rec, whereas this newest one turns out to be a debut one for the Swedish Regain Rec. Hmm interesting to notice both Overkill and Seven Witches also happen to be on Regain as well. lAnyway- The Bronx Casket Co has musically nothing to do with the old school thrash metal or traditional power metal oriented approach. Instead the stuff of this so-called therapy combo can be described as a hybrid of dismal gothic stuff in the vein of Type O Negative or even the Finnish 69 Eyes. Especially the musical approach of the opening song “Little Dead Girl” could be written by the Finnish vampire gothic mongers quite simply as it is reminiscent of some of their tunes. However the Bronx Casket men operate in the dismal world of the gothic image, even though some additions to give some eccentric vibes to the music have been mixed to the stuff. As for the fourth tune “Sherimoon” I couldn’t help thinking some Rob Zombie influences popping up here and there. Well ok the song may not sound as spooky industrial as Zombie’s songs usually do, but some references can be heard.
The running time of this 12 song opus is over one hour, but for some weird reason Lynyrd Skynyrd’s incredible nine minute long FREE BIRD has found its place on the album as well. I dunno Know if it was a reasonable idea to have a cover tune, but to my ears the song sounds quite dismal and haunting. The gothic album wouldn’t be 100% perfect without female vocals as BLEED WITH ME has nice female vocals in the background. There are plenty of catchy haunting songs as for example already stated above “Little Dead Girl” and “Motocrypt”, but on the other hand, “Mortician’s Lullaby” could have been left out, as it sounds quite weak. The concluding song “Live For Death” has and sounds quite heavy, even doom metal having keyboards added to give a gloomy grim feeling.
In general listening to HELLETRIC as a small piece is more idealistic, as listening to it in all in a row could be a hard task for people not into to that type of dismal material.The album has of course excellent sounds as DD Verni definitely knows his job in the studio environment. Spy’s voices fit to the gothic world of The Bronx Casket Company pretty well.
Well I am quite confirmed playing and composing this sort of vampire horror material is a kind of good way to explore another territories of the metal music and find an inspiration to carry on with real bands. But at least the US gothic people have discovered a band as the first edition of the album were sold out in The States.