Release date: January 25, 2011
Despite the fact that The Bronx Casket Co. has been around for more than a decade. I’m ashamed to admit that their new record, Antihero, is my first taste of the band. However, I’ll glad grab hold of the old better late than never adage.
The original formation of BBC came about in 1998 when Overkill co-founder and bassist DD Verni decided he needed another musical outlet for his creativity. While Overkill made a name for themselves among the elite of the thrash metal genre,Verni had an urge to feed another aspect of his musical cravings. When asked why he created the project he said it was for “the challenge of writing interesting new material and for fun of course!”
While Overkill and BBC could certainly share a stage together, the style of their metal is uniquely different. BBC is more gothic and melodic. The band uses keyboards and orchestrations and a certain sense of humor.
Because this is a side project for those involved, the band has only recorded three previous albums, and the last two were both five years apart. Antihero marks a six year stretch, and a new line up. It took until 2005’s Hellectric before the band really started to define their voice, and Antihero will further soldify their signature. This time around, Verne is handling the vocal duties, and he does such a slick job it makes you wonder why he wasn’t doing it all along.
Verne’s partner in crime is axe-shredder Jack Frost (Seven Witches, Metalium). And if Frost’s playing weren’t enough Mike Romeo from Symphony X add’s own fret-pyrotechnics, playing every solo on the record. Keyboardist Charlie Calv and drummer Rob Pallota round out the quartet. The record will be released this week (January 25th) on eOne Music, and boasts 14 new tracks including a couple of memorable covers.
I can readily sum up the predominant scope of the album by saying it is the best Rob Zombie album never made. This is what Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2, should have been.
“This Bronx Casket record is the best we’ve done, and we are looking forward to getting out on the road and doing some shows,” says Verni. I won’t argue with him either. Having now gone back to hear the band’s first three records, this is a clear winner, and it’s a shame it took six years to get our ears on it.
Throughout the album you hear different layers and sounds. There’s some doomy Sabbathesque moments, some industrial flavors, and a lot of great energy. This record is less gothic than the band’s previous efforts, and that may have to do with playing to Verne’s vocal strengths. Whatever the reason, it works. There are still plenty of dramatic high points throughout the record. “Holy Mother” offers a very cinematic intro, while “I Am No One” has a distinctly Godsmack vibe with elements of Metallica.
“Memphis Sorrow,” starts off with “Are You Lonesome Tonight” whispering in our ears before we get a ghost town, bluesy, slide guitar opening in the “Blaze of Glory” vein. That’s before we get into the dark, doomy heart of this rocker. Great slide action solo.
The band even put their own vile spin on Queen’s “Death On Two Legs”, and Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.
The title track is instantly addictive, as I’ve discovered the hard way. It’s been bouncing around in my head for a week now.
Listen to “Antihero”:
The track listing for the CD is as follows:
3. You Look Like Hell
5. I Never Loved You Anyway
6. Holy Mother
7. I Am No One
8. Memphis Scarecrow
9. Selling My Soul
10. Death On Two Legs
11. Let Me Be Your Nightmare
12. NYC (Devil’s Playground)
14. My Way
The record can now be pre-ordered via iTunes here.
Bottom line, Antihero is an all out, energy fueled kick-ass party for the ears.