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Closed Casket opens up about 'Hell'

Posted by Scott McLennan  June 5, 2013 11:24 AM

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closed casket.jpg

Closed Casket, from the top, is Dan Pardi, left, and Dan McGrath, at center Alx, left, and Chico, and Sam Casket

Closed Casket's new CD "Hell at Capacity" is, as you can imagine, grim; I mean, we just used the words "closed casket" and "hell" in the same sentence.

What isn't so predictable from appearances is the particular blend of influences in this Boston band's work. Everything from old-school thrash, to glorious power metal, to scabby black metal, to sludgy doom, to even a little punk rock bubbles up as the disc's 15 tracks move along.

Closed Casket has a CD-release show Friday, June 7, at the Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St., Jamaica Plain. The show starts at 8 p.m. and also features Soul Remnants, Dark Was the Night, and Mortuorium.

The album's lead-off track "Pentacle Pentagram" appropriates a prog-rock intro before lurching into the song's aggressive drive. "The Challenge" follows, compressing the dynamics into a tight knot of music. The title track gallops along with riffs and rhythms that Judas Priest fans will dig, but delivers them a little quicker than the old guard typically does, and atop all that, singer Chico barks along to a choppy melody line learned at the Slayer Academy. And from there, "Ride With Us" swerves into a doom-tinged landscape.

Closed Casket started in 2004, and bassist Alx explains that each lineup change seemed to bring a new menu of influences. Drummer Sam Casket and guitarist Dan Pardi go back to the band's earliest "horror metal" days. Alx, who joined in 2008 and is also a member of Barren Oak, says he brought black metal and death metal influences to the group, and the addition of guitarist Dan McGrath amped-up the band's modern power-metal sound

Sam Casket says the band scrapped a CD it was working on once Alx and McGrath joined and started from scratch on "Hell at Capacity" to best capture what he describes as a "unique style of metal."

While the band offers up a good deal of sonic diversity, thematically the record has a distinct comfort zone, which isn't really all that comfortable. Songs trade in demonic tales and general societal decay.

After its show Friday, Closed Casket has an October date in Salem (go figure) and is trying to set up and East Coast tour.

Here's a little sample from "Hell at Capacity":

hell at capacity cover.jpg

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About the author

Scott McLennan is a Boston Globe music correspondent and previously wrote a music and entertainment column for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for 15 years. After seeing the band Boston in the Boston Garden as a teenager he never looked back and eventually figured out how to be a professional fan. Scott is very good at writing in the dark. This blog is an ongoing discussion about music happening in and around Boston. Scott will be leading the trek across genres looking for new releases and hot shows as well as just checking in with the people who make Boston such a great place to listen. More »
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