US band WITCH CASKET was formed in 2016, initially planned as a strict studio project by instigators Colin Cameron and Neal Tiemann, with the additional vocal talents of Adam McCarthy added to the mix, and then later on developing into a proper band unit with plans to hit the live circuit. “Hatred Index” is their first effort, and was self-released at the end of April 2018.

We are presented with five cuts on this EP, that clocks in at just a bit under 25 minutes. What would be described as a mini-album in the days of old I guess. Metal is the name of the game here, and one with an extreme metal orientation at that. Albeit tinged with a few more melodic details than is common in this field.

The vocals are of the hoarse shouted variety, aggressive and evil sounding. More shouted than growls in my opinion, but with that evil tinge to them many extreme metal fans tends to favor. Perhaps down-mixed a bit too much, obviously depending on personal taste. They are backed by typically hectic drum patterns going on to cascades here and there, at times with a bouncy touch to them, then usually given support by the guitar to create that feel.

The guitars themselves are typically firm and hard, compact yet also suitably heavy. Groove-laden patterns and flowing fluctuating riff cascades are the main delivery options, occasionally going on a more typical extreme metal style twisted run. Occasional use of keyboards are applied for that symphonic, majestic statement Dimmur Borgir style. A specific trait for this band is that they tend to have melody based solo overlays and guitar solo runs, either as flowing textures or more technical applied sequences with a neo-classical touch to them.

All of this is assembled into a tight and hard package, to the point of coming across as muddied in places. A dark, hard and compact extreme metal fog, like the sound of Mordor going to war as heard in the distance, Loud, but with a distanced feel. And with a wee bit of melody-based details on top that makes the music arguably more appealing than the more dramatic varieties of extreme metal. In essence a production with more of a niche appeal as I regard it, but those who feel my descriptions sounds fascinating should have a go at this one.

My rating: 60/100


Track list:
Hatred Index // That Damn Devil // Dawn Everlasting // History of Violence // The True Knot



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