Wyoming’s Casket Huffer dropped a warhead of a death metal debut last October and evidently many of you missed it (full disclosure: myself included). All of us can now rectify that as Gospels of Scum is seeing a limited vinyl treatment along with new artwork and digital once again. There’s many sharks in the water so to speak on this album: death, black, war, sludge and a subtle hint of doom but rather than taking the “throw it all at the wall and see what sticks” approach the way this band does it is seamless. It’s that perfect wall of sound with not a second wasted.
I know I know, you’ve heard it all before. Band inserts many styles, band is loud, band is unpredictable, band is vicious but listen, Gospels of Scum heavy-handedly delivers on all of this and more, without mercy. But the way they do it is not only exciting for us death metal fiends but allows for repeated listens sans-fatigue. Take “Casket Huffer” with its impenetrable cascade of death metal that takes a hard left turn with high pitched solo work and tempo shifts galore throughout its midsection. It doesn’t take long to understand the band’s careful and concise mix of the likewise impenetrable Impetous Ritual and the ever so vicious Primitive Man (the fact that Ethan Lee McCarthy (P//M) offers guest vocals is just icing on the cake, or casket depending on preference with those sorts of things).
The band doesn’t drag their feet with intros or interludes either as they launch into “Inertia” and set a harsh tone for the remaining eight tracks. And it’s a stampede, peppered with low growled vocals, blasting drums and grinding guitars. The band’s Swedeath influence creeps in along the way but nowhere is it more prominent than the punkish “Stygian Tongues.” Later on “I Hate This Fucking World” war metal is the main focus with its relentless pacing, thick atmosphere and blast beats. And after all that variance the album closes with a blazing and all encompassing finale, “Extol Unholy Adoration” which corrals every genre and influence into a little more than five minutes. Showing what you’re made of and what you’re capable of as a band is not an easy thing to successfully do on a debut but Casket Huffer does it here with an exuberant ease and staunch confidence.
It’s not everyday we’re offered a debut with this kind of unyielding energy or this much confidence but Casket Huffer’s Gospels of Scum is all that and a bag of chips. It’s not simply a death metal album, it’s a full on multi-headed experience that leaves you completely satisfied and wanting to dive right back in. So, now that this album is available on vinyl (and digital again) there’s no excuse to miss it… and you shouldn’t.