Murderers, madness and zombies are three key ingredients in any metal album nowadays that’s focusing on all things brutal and gory. With a name like Casket Robbery, it’s pretty much a given that being as brutal and gory as possible is high on the agenda for the Wisconsin four piece’s first full length release Evolution of Evil.
Evolution of Evil is a very interesting listen in terms of how Casket Robbery’s style manages to descend further into the depths of brutality with each track. Opening number Annibelle’s Hell for example is a more generic, run of the mill metal track (all be it with a distinct King Diamond ‘Them’ feeling to it) whereas the ninth track Cyanide Skies is a brutal speeding frenzy with an infectious, groovy riff and impressively long, deep guttural growls from vocalist Dustin Foesch.
The theme of switching between your standard heavy metal and more extreme, aggressive metal is consistent throughout Evolution of Evil. Seventh track Curse of the Night Stalker is a furiously speeding hybrid of Devil Driver and Whitechapel with an eerie end whilst the following number Encroaching Darkness is a much heavier and thunderous number with strong Aborted vibes to it.
The horror theme is played well throughout the album. Fifth track Undead Living Hell features a guest speaking role from horror filmmaker Cory Udler and has a brilliantly macabre and eerie feel to it. Third song Malevolent Milwaukee Massacre is obviously smothered in horror from start to finish with pounding, heavy riffs and your quintessential serial killer quote thrown in at the end for good measure.
Casket Robbery will work well as a transition band between your mainstream heavy metal such as Lamb of God and Machine Head to the more extreme end of the spectrum. For new fans of death metal who are only just beginning to discover the genre, Casket Robbery would serve as a nice gentle introduction into the realms of more sinister, horror influenced metal. However the more hardened death metal fanatics will be left seeking something more crushing and infectious after listening to Casket Robbery.
Evolution of Evil is an entertaining and varied album which changes its style progressively over ten tracks with the latter half of the album being the most death metal orientated of the two. Fans of heavier Whitechapel and lighter Aborted are bound to find something to enjoy on the album as speed is the name of its game. However hardened death metal fanatics may be left disappointed.
(6/10 Eilish Foxen)