What happens when you mix the angry, quick-fire shouts of hardcore with the eccentric, multi-track guitar riffs of progressive rock? You get today’s band of the day, American Caskets, a New York-based progressive metal trio whose unique sound can only truly be described as “eclectic”, which is in no means a bad thing. It is this diversity within American Caskets’ style of play that sets them apart from the rest of the contemporary progressive metal scene, as rather than opt for a purist, traditional progressive style, they incorporate modern elements, bringing together the old and new.
American Caskets have recently released their debut, self-titled EP, a five track lightning storm of harsh vocals paired with clean, crisp guitar riffs. This kind of pairing has become fairly common within the hardcore scene over the past decade, with bands like A Day To Remember leading the way in such terms. However few bands have opted to incorporate progressive elements into their music. This is where American Caskets and their bold stylistic choice stand alone, defying the boundaries of genre, infusing two very different styles of music to create something wholly new.
Guitarist Zachery Walden flirts with the heavier aspects of the hardcore scene in many of the songs, occasionally leaning toward an almost distorted sound, yet maintaining a clean and calculated style of play for much of the EP. It is this cleanness that shines throughout American Caskets, as it cuts through the rest of the band to take centre stage, such is the tendency for progressive metal outfits to do so. This is not to downplay Drew Costello’s screamed vocals, which go to counter the guitar riffs, ensuring that the EP does not become a guitar-centred venture.
This contrast of the clean and the harsh goes to create a well-rounded, and more whole sound from American Caskets, something which is not quite definable by genre, and different from much which surrounds it in the metal scene today.
American Caskets is out now and available here.