THE BRONX CASKET CO.
"Hellectric"

(Candlelight/Regain)

01. Little Dead Girl
02. Everything I Got
03. Dream of Angels
04. Sherimoon
05. Bleed with Me
06. Motorcrypt
07. Let My People Go
08. Free Bird
09. In My Skin
10. Can't Stop the Rain
11. Mortician's Lullaby
12. Live for Death

RATING: 6.5/10

Dark yet catchy gothic metal is not what I would have expected from a band consisting of SAVATAGE/SEVEN WITCHES guitarist Jack Frost, OVERKILL's DD Verni and Tim Mallare, and the MISFITS' Myke Hideous. The band's third album, and first for Regain and Candlelight, suffers from a few pockmarks in the songwriting, but generally succeeds as a hooky slab of blackness.

"Upbeat" may not seem like the appropriate term to describe the songwriting on an album draped in darkness, but in this case there is a fun factor amidst the dread that shows up in the catchy choruses. Comparisons to TYPE O NEGATIVE will be read anywhere "Hellectric" is mentioned, but the main difference between that set of New Yorkers and THE BRONX CASKET CO. is a seemingly less serious side. "Little Dead Girl" acts as the quintessential TBCC song, morbid tones mixing with a memorable chorus, while "Everything I Got" sports a sort of gothic poppiness (poppy gothicness?) that works, provided you can handle a sliver of goofiness. It's all in good fun anyway, right?

There is a little bit of everything here. Take the Eastern vibes of "Let My People Go" and the female accent vocals on "Bleed for Me" for example. The carnival keyboards of rockin' instrumental "Motorcrypt" (ending with a snippet from "The Munsters") are simply perfect, while the doomed-out cover of LYNYRD SKYNYRD's "Free Bird" is surprisingly entertaining and exceedingly well done. This is how covers should be approached. A poorly sung chorus in a hokey song like "Can't Stop the Rain", a weak to middling track ("Live for Death"), and a so-so, out of place acoustic number with female vocals ("Mortician's Lullaby") don't put too much of a damper an otherwise decent collection of tunes. I am not certain how the goth rock traditionalists will view "Hellectric", but those looking for a little variety in their music collections should be pleased with it.

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