Finland is no stranger to doom metal. From Reverend Bizarre, Spiritus Mortis to Fall of the Idols and The Wandering Midget, Santa's homeland has produced many a great act to please all the dirge worshippers around the world
and continues to do so by unleashing pissed off undead corpses To Serve the Collapse onto humankind this time around. That's right, the sophomore full-length offering by up and coming Finnish punk-doom metallers contains hour-long filthy and brooding invocation of the undead.
Caskets Open have already established a quite intriguing sound with their debut But You Rule by fusing the crushing, slow traditional doom tempos of Reverend Bizarre and the punk/thrash/doom sensibilities of Carnivore and early Type O Negative. This time they have returned with the aforementioned dynamics only with more rage and a more grinding heavier production. They've also re-recorded a few tracks from two of their recent demos.
The bass-heavy lurches and despondent lead guitar melodies of "Phantom Wood" marks the beginning of the end. It ultimately leads to almost sludgy territories when Timo Ketola aka Horror employs his raspy hardcore/thrash oriented shrieks during the outro chorus, "Sleep till death...Sleep till death." "Subwoman" (re-recorded from In the End demo) is based on Teuvo Tulio's cult classic Sensuela which is regarded as a cheesy, ridiculous over-the-top semi-softcore flick nowadays. Horror gradually tells Laila Walk's ill-fated story with this crushing piece as its rifftastic nature, rock-steady drumming and catchy hooks unfold only to boggle your mind further with an orgasmic solo.
"Humanist" begins with full-on punk/thrash attack and culminates with doom. "Funeral Home" is free from the punk tendencies in its entirety. It mostly revolves around painfully heavy trad doom riffs, clean bellowing vocals and atmospheric breaks. "Mayhem" sort of acts as a sequel to aforementioned "Humanist". It basically reverts the opening and closing rhythm of its predecessor by picking up from the doom outro and closing down with barn-burning punk/thrash.
"The Law" is again a fantastic riff-orgy and features a cool Iommic vibrato which
also reminds me of a similar bending rhythm from the outro of Blood Farmers' "Orgy of the Rats". "Hetero" offers more mid-paced doom crunch before collapsing into the gloomy dirges of "I don't Mind" which is one of the earliest songs composed by the band for their very first demo. While this retake lacks the raw punch of the demo version it successfully makes up for that by becoming more cathartic and coma inducing.
To Serve the Collapse is a solid record that borders on greatness. I think it's not too far when Caskets Open will reach their full potential and produce something truly overpowering. Maybe they will achieve it with their next offering. I'd be looking forward to that.
Rating - ★★★★