Review: Cist – The Frozen Casket

Cist The Frozen Casket Artwork

Label: Camo Pants Records

If you’re going to play old-school death metal, and you want to have a hope of standing out in the increasingly crowded scene, you need to be good. It’s not enough to just have a selection of decent riffs and a production torn straight from the 90’s; there needs to be that spark and fire that will make your band stand out. Russians Cist have that spark, and debut EP The Frozen Casket is twenty minutes of decayed, bone-gnawed death metal that could have been spawned during the early days of the genre.

Sounding like it could have been written by Death around the time of Scream Bloody Gore and LeprosyThe Frozen Casket is an exercise in old-school, gore-drenched brutality, filled with filthy riffs that recall the dawn of the death metal genre. The EP is consistently high energy, with a lot of speed and movement to it; riffs rarely sit still, and the structures are constantly shifting in natural, flowing ways. There’s a hint of Obituary to some of the riffs, too, with more than a hint of decayed flesh and graveyard dirt clinging to the recording.

There are a few aspects that mark The Frozen Casket out as a modern release, such as the noise-based introduction to third track ‘Injected Obsession’, but on the whole, this is not an EP that is remarkable for its originality. But, to judge it on such criteria is to fundamentally miss the point of what it is trying to be and achieve. The music of Cist is a celebration of old-school death metal, and The Frozen Casket is just that, without ever making the listener feel as if they’d be better off just reaching for one of the classics. To recall bands such as Death and Obituary without feeling inferior to them is no small achievement. Sure to incite headbanging and raised horns, The Frozen Casket is a thoroughly enjoyable listen that fans of old-school death metal are sure to appreciate.

The Frozen Casket is due for release on March 16 2018, on digital and cassette formats.

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