Ex Dementia - Crack the Coffin - (8/10)
Published on June 23, 2017
As if the album title wasn’t enough to give it away, Ex Dementia is a horror obsessed death metal band. Crack the Coffin marks the band’s first new material since 2009’s The Red Mass, and the first album with new bassist Joe Scafuto and new lead guitarist Tony Barhoun (of Condition Critical). Though the band has a new lineup on board, Crack the Coffin is business as usual for the New Jersey four piece.
Though the band has moved away from kistchy songs titles that are full of puns, the same type of energetic, punk-laden death/thrash is on display. Nine songs, running at twenty-four minutes long, Ex Dementia packs a hell of a punch in a short time, though the length is par for the course when compared with compared with the band’s other full lengths. The tracks are all in the two to three minute range, and thankfully the band doesn’t waste a lot of time with pointless samples like a lot of bands in the style seem to do. Punchy, fast paced death metal riffing, complete with a few catchy chugs, the occasional grind, and some pretty cool lead work mixes with stomping crossover/punk beats and blasts.
Ex Dementia was obviously influenced by the likes of Ghoul, Blood Freak, and Impetigo, but Crack the Coffin goes beyond mere genre worship. Though the songs are short, they’re catchy and hold quite a few memorable riffs; more so than their last full length for sure. The production is perfect for the style, with a thick guitar tone and a poppy, yet poignant bass sound. The album is closed off by a really cool cover of the Misfits classic “Skulls”, done in Ex Dementia’s thrashy, punky, death metal style. It fits nicely with the flow and scope of the rest of the album, instead of coming across as a rushed or wonky bonus. All in all, it’s a pretty fun and catchy album that still has the power to bash your brains in.