Review: Caustic EchoesThe Passing Of Moonlight

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Caustic Echoes album art

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Boston’s own masters of melodic metal, Caustic Echoes are preparing to ascend to new heights with their thrilling independent debut album, The Passing of Moonlight. Composed of Massachusetts metal scene veterans, Caustic Echoes deliver new listeners a solid introduction to their sound. While it’s not perfect, it shows that the same area that gave an initial stage to some of alternative metal and metalcore’s biggest stars still has a heap of undiscovered talent. Caustic Echoes walk in the footsteps of Rob Zombie, Killswitch Engage, Godsmack, and Ice Nine Kills before them and wave the flag of Massachusetts metal.

The performances are all commendable and each member serves a purpose. The group has such a great cohesion. The rhythm laid down on the low end by bassist “V” and drums by Sean Walter act as the backbone of the record. Both are tight, expressive and technically impressive. They know when to play it cool and straight and when to really cut loose. The guitar work by both Shaun Glassman and Matthew Freemen complements each other perfectly and both add a dynamic sense of energy and a ferocious tenacity to the group.

At the core of the band is vocalist Raphael Fiore. To sing in this style of metal means you need both a melodic sense of control and the ability to shift on a dime into brutal, guttural harsh singing. Like Killswitch Engage and Light the Torch’s Howard Jones before him, Fiore has an excellent grasp on metalcore vocal techniques and anchors home a lot of the tracks.

The tracklist is strong and this band clearly has great chemistry between its members. The album has its issues; noticeably there is some murky production that sometimes gets in the way of the performances and makes things blend together in a distracting way. Certain tracks aren’t as memorable or stand out but each cut still feels like it belongs on the record.

The album itself has a good flow. “Rock and Root” leads well into “Lucid” and “Burnt Offering” and between the three provide a good sonic description of the band. A lot of records drag in the middle but I feel The Passing of Moonlight’s strongest area is tracks 4 through 6. “The Passing of Moonlight” and “Ambivalent” are maybe the standout cuts on the entire record and set up a lot of goodwill carrying into the track “Among the Sheep”.

The last few tracks on the album do show a little fatigue and bloat with “Izanami” being the low point of the record personally, but “The One Below” coming before it and “The Unpulled Thread” afterwards serve as solid sides and balance it off well. A cherry on top is a hard nosed reimagining of Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Mr. Crowley”. Ozzy and Randy would be proud.

Caustic Echoes show a ton of promise and potential. Supporting upcoming local and underground artists is imperative to the preservation and growth of the scene. That doesn’t mean you have to blindly go to every show and shill for every band that gets on stage and plays a Deftones cover but these hard-working artists definitely deserve some love and attention.

The Passing Of Moonlight is a solid starting point and I personally hope to get to see them in person in the future. Caustic Echoes show a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing how they capitalize on the momentum from this release and grow going forward.

Top tracks: “The Passing of Moonlight”, “Ambivalent” and ”Among the Sheep”

3.5/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

The Passing Of Moonlight is out now.

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