Review Summary: The Bronx Casket Co. is a brooding, riff-laden dirge from Overkill bassist D.D. Verni. Dark, ominous and bass heavy this release seethes with dark malignancy.
1999. Walking into a local record store (remember those?) where a new release was listed on the wall. “From the bassist for Overkill – The Bronx Casket Company!” As a huge fan of DD and Overkill I figured I was picking up a thrash laden side project. Oh how wrong I was. My 21 year old self did not appreciate the music contained herein when I first purchased this and sad to say that it sat in the bottom of my CD collection for many years. When I was transferring to digital a few years back, I finally decided to give this another spin. I was completely blown away by what I had missed for the past few years. This release is heavy on the attitude and atmosphere.
Formed by DD Verni (whose bass adds 14 tons of heavy to this album) who brought along then band member Tim Mallare (drums), Jack Frost (guitar, of Seven Witches fame), keyboardist Charlie Calve and recruiting Myke Hideous for vocal duty. Hideous was coming off of a touring sting with the Misfits, covering for briefly departed vocalist Michael Graves. The band sounds like the bastard stepchild of Black Sabbath and a Type O Negative. Warm, ominous guitar is backed with DD’s signature bass style and excellent natural drumming to create some of the best atmosphere of the 1990’s. The keyboards are not overpowering and only serve to deepen the atmosphere. Like adding another skull to the mortuary, another black candle to the altar, all elements here come together in a barrage of doom and gloom. Hideo us comes across very similar to Peter Steel from Type O Negative, though (for better or worse) lacking some of the major melodrama that could come across in Steel’s performances.
Every track blends well into the next, and each is varied enough to make the entire listening experience worthwhile (even with some selections clocking in over seven minutes long). Some prime examples are Mercy Limited
which starts out with a bass line so heavy that Satan himself must have shed a few tears when he first heard it. With a slow, chugging riff behind it, the vocals move between a soulful style to a rather frightening spoken word delivery. La Triste Verita
is a beautiful mix of tradition French singing with an organ background and leads into the horror movie soundtrack that is Vampire War
. A final stand out mention needs to go to Alone, Ghanson Pour Les Immortels
, it is conspicuously lacking any drum work, however so layered are the vocal, bass, guitar and keyboards that the attitude and despair will ooze from your speakers.
An album that may be under the radar for many, The Bonx Casket Co. delivers an outstanding release fueled with enough doom and attitude to darken even the heaviest of hearts.