Caskets – Reflections [Album Review]

Review: Jack Price

Having recently extended their reach and braving the Australian cricut for a monster tour with Melbourne‘s Windwaker last month before heading off to the US, the Yorkshire post-hardcore outfit Caskets present a work of art in their new album, Reflections. If you were lucky enough to catch the live shows, you would have experienced a much heavier exhibition compared to their studio work on 2021’s Lost Souls, a brilliant record as it is. That heaviness of their live shows has been captured perfectly in this 10 track emotional roller coaster. Having incorporated lyrics from personal experiences of each of the lads rather than the pen being all in the hands of vocalist Matt Flood, it makes for a much more varied experience while sticking with the positive mental health focussed message the band has fought to portray magnificently.

Believe sets the mood for the record, Matt‘s voice charmingly enticing the listener in, almost whispering with an intriguing lyrical layout of lines finishing with the start of the next, before the eruption of energy as the music changes from melodic, almost dreamy synth to a heavy, aggressive chord progression throughout the rest of the verse and chorus. The lyrics are just as aggressive as the music, sending a more loathing message while at the same time, including the self growth to prevail over the hardship that inspired the track.

While being almost 15 minutes shorter and a song less than than the band’s debut album, Reflections has a punchier feel, with tracks like Six Feet Down and More Than Misery showcasing Flood‘s more aggressive vocal work. Everything about this album is next level and the hard work Caskets have put in over the last two years has paid off. More Than Misery is one of the best tracks I have heard in the genre for a while, Chris McIntosh‘s thumping bassline carrying the verse, with the subtle pauses in the heavy guitar riffs and enchanting sweeps from Benji Wilson and Craig Robinson pairing with James Lazenby‘s crashing cymbals and pounding drums tying the track together. The track slows for the chorus, adding gravity to the already weighty lyrics, again centering around progression from the darkness of life’s tribulations.

There isn’t a skippable track on this album, every single one has a perfectly deployed hook and the album has such a rhythm driving it forward that just sucks you in with it for the ride. While the messages portrayed in the lyrics may on the surface sound whiney and emo, Caskets deliver it in such a perfectly sculpted way that their message is clear and inviting, rather than grating and annoying. This is perfectly shown in By The Sound, a much more soulful track akim to Lost Souls but fresh nonetheless. The bridge slows with Matt‘s vocals overlapping as the instruments grow in the background, Lazenbys drumwork pairing with the melody of vocals.

Six Feet Down‘s intro brings back the aggression, with the first verse dropping to a lower register before bellowing into the chorus. As far as breakdowns go, this track carries arguably the best of the album. The layering of Flood‘s vocals towards the end of the track finishes it off superbly. The follow up track, Silhouettes, is a polar opposite in contrast, edging on the more pop side of the bands repertoire and more electronic influences add to the soulful vocal delivery. Guiding Light is a prime example of what Caskets are all about. The lyrical hooks and structure is on point with the heavy bass, immaculate guitar solo from Robinson, crashing percussion. It’s easy to see why this was chosen as their first single off the record. If they hadn’t had chosen this, the following track, Hate Me, is a close second, following a similar structure but throwing more artistic freedom at the track using soundbites of spoken word while showcasing the musical talent of the entire band. Matt shows the lowest of his range from the entire album here and the breakdown is oh so tasty!

Closing off the record is Better Way Out, the most emotionally charged track that exposes the truths of feeling at your lowest, like all other options have been exhausted. The message is clear and resounding, and if it weren’t being delivered in such a heartfelt way, it would almost be redundant to hear. But the passion behind the band that drives their memorandum pushes back the darkest of dark. It comes from a place of personal experience, a cry of “I know how you feel because I have felt it” can be felt with the performance and the musical ambience created embraces the bands energy perfectly,

Reflections is such a refreshing album, one I feel many people have needed or do need. There are moments in life where you do feel alone and hopeless. This album, this band is here for you. They aren’t sugar coating the message they have to send, they don’t tie it up in quirky, niche references few will understand. It’s in your face, warts and all. If you have seen the boys from Caskets live, expect the same level of enthusiasm and energy they bring to their live shows in this album. You will not be disappointed.