Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Bronx Casket Co.-Antihero

eOne Music 2011

The Bronx Casket Co. was formed as a side project by bassist D.D. Verni in 1998 to explore his other musical interests outside of Overkill. A studio only project the group has already released three full length albums. On the first three D.D. employed guest vocalists. Antihero is the first disc on which he handles lead vocals himself. Joining D.D (bass,acoustic and rhythm guitars) is Jack Frost (Seven Witches,Metalium,Marshall Law)-guitars and b.ground vocals, Charlie Calv-keyboards and Rob Pallotta - drums. The lead guitar work was handled by Sympnhy X guitarist Michael Romero. While The Bronx Casket Co. has been described as goth metal in the past it seems that with each passing release they have branched out into a more commercial metal sound. While Antihero still retains that goth feel that I've enjoyed from the band in the past it is more metallic overall. Gone is vocalist Myke Hideous (Misfits) who had an almost cartoonist vibe going on. The first thing I noticed on the opener "Antihero" is how much D.D's vocals come across like a cross between James Hetfield and Rob Zombie. In fact "Antihero" sounded like something out of the Load/Reload era of Metallica interpreted by Rob Zombie. While that might sound bad on the surface it works for them. It's heavy end rock and roll metal. On "Bonesaw" the band continues to flirt with this sound. It's nowhere near as techno as Rob has gotten on his latest releases. If anything this is what White Zombie would have sounded like if they would have kept the electronics out and listened to more Metallica and Megadeth than Ministry. "You Look Like Hell", "I Never Loved You Anyway" and "I Am No One" have that foot on the pedal/ sunroof down groove to them. "Memphis Scarecrow" is dreary blues with it's slide guitar. "Selling My Soul" offers up more hard rock era Metallica before the band takes on the Queen song "Death On Two Legs". While it isn't bad I enjoyed Heathen's take on it better. "Let Me Be Your Nightmare" made me wonder if this it what it would have sounded like if Glenn Danzig had fronted Metallica in the later part of the 90s. I have no clue where that image came from but it sure made me ponder it. "NYC (Devil's Playground)" is fist in your face New York pride. "Alive" is a cool little slab of "Highway To Hell" rock and roll damnation before the band lays waste to a cover of Paul Anka's "My Way". It seems to fit right in as Verni's side project is nothing like the thrash of Overkill. The Bronx Casket Co. allows D.D. to show off another side of his personality. "Antihero" might see D.D. showing his Overkill colors as it is more metalic than goth overall. That said it seems like more of a natural progression for him. It works and that is all that matters. It is just too bad that the band is nothing more than a studio gig. It would be really interesting to see D.D. get down on this stuff live. I bet it would be a blast.


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