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Maggot Casket – Maggot Casket

Maggot Casket
Maggot Casket
by Alexis Lareine at 14 May 2018, 3:54 PM

This is the first release from Maggot Casket, a death metal band hailing from Kentucky. You don’t really hear of a lot of death metal bands from this state, so I’m excited to hear what their sound is like. The band has minimal online presence: their bandcamp has no music on it as of now, and their Facebook simply states, “Nope,” in their info section. The image they seem to want to get across is a mixture of gory imagery and humor; the album cover appears to be a sloppily hand-drawn maggot.

The opening track, “Maggot Casket”, begins with a comically bad rendition of a documentary on maggots. As soon as the music comes in, it sounds almost unmastered. The guitars are extremely crunchy and over-distorted. There are some catchy riffs in here though, and the vocals are pure primal aggression. The song does very little to progress and build, and it is overall sloppy. This is the kind of album that you have to take it for what it is: it’s supposed to just be funny and brutal, not the next “Epitaph”.

The intro to “Harvester of Marrow” is a lot more aurally pleasing than I expected given the current vibe. The bass has plenty of room to breathe and interacts wonderfully with the simple but catchy riff and lead guitar line on top. Then the vocals drop, extremely guttural and just evil. Again, the songs do little to develop and build as they go, but there are some super catchy, fun riffs in here. Some of the riffs are thrashy and old-school. Many of these songs are very basic and primal, with extremely simple riffs and not much variation. There are riffs here and there that pleasantly surprise you with more technicality than expected.

“Zombie Eclipse” is one of the very basic songs that are just very static the whole way through, with little development. It has a sludgy, doom metal feel throughout most of the song. “Mortuary Mistress” opens with pure old-school death metal riffage – think early SUFFOCATION vibes. In the second minute, it quickly returns to the doom metal sound that was prevalent through most of the last song. Again, this is supposed to be where humor meets brutal, and the lyrics are intentionally, comically terrible. “Bastard Son of a Bastard Son” is full of more exceedingly simple riffs. There is a great reprieve at 1:03 where a much more progressive riff enters – it’s really quite a beautiful riff, bookended by markedly simplistic riffs. The rest of the song, to be honest, is nothing special. I’ve heard all of these riffs before, and with such little development, there’s really nothing to keep my interest. At least, there’s nothing until the pretty, more progressive riff returns to close out the song.

“Mourning Wood” opens with unexpected, torturous vocals screeching in over acutely simple, heavy riffage. Thrashy riffs take over, interchanging with the simple riff from the beginning, until the second minute when the super guttural vocals return, with them a strange, brutal riff with a kind of awkward groove to it. The song, again, goes from riff to riff and does little to progress and develop, but some of these sections are really cool and catchy. I love when a band can surprise me, and the guitar soloing that opens “One Eyed God” is the last thing I expected on this album. I was thrilled to hear some actual solos, despite the sloppiness – it suited the style of the music. It immediately goes back to where the band’s most comfortable: thrashy, old-school, exceedingly simple riffage. It’s also a complete surprise when the bass takes the forefront of the mix in the second minute. The intervals they used are just gorgeous and also unexpected. The vocals become frantic and super aggressive, and the sloppy soloing returns.

The single-note picked riff that follows the sample that introduces “The Creep” is very hollow, dissonant, and haunting. The song completely changes style in the second minute, when a faster, thrashier riff and high-range frantic vocals take over. The riff that enters in the third minute is super catchy, simple, almost like a BLACK SABBATH riff with brutal, guttural vocals on top. Again, this is an album where you have to take it for what it is: humor mixed with sluggish, over-distorted brutality.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Maggot Casket
2. Harvester of Marrow
3. Zombie Eclipse
4. Mortuary Mistress
5. Bastard Son of a Bastard Son
6. Mourning Wood
7. One Eyed God
8. The Creep
Steve Porter – Drums
Jay Waller – Bass
Shawn Kirst – Guitars
Jamie Porter – Guitars
Record Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions


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Edited 27 January 2023

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