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Abacus Recordings

1) Phenomenon
2) Too Scared To Live
3) Genesis
4) Myspace Girl
5) A Cork Stops The Whining
6) Post Traumatic Death
7) I Slept
8) The Redeemer
9) Name Above All Name
10) Things To Do Before We Die
       North Carolina's Glass Casket released their second Abacus album today. If your first thoughts are "hey, Between the Buried and Me are from NC too!" then yeah, not only are you correct, smart guy, but you are also on your way to buying this album, because the drummer and one of the guitarists of Glass Casket lent their talents to the latest BTBAM album.
        Indeed, Glass Casket's brand of crisp, grind-influenced hardcore compares well with BTBAM. While BTBAM's
Alaska is colorful, spontaneous, and full of vocal variations, A Desperate Man's Diary is much darker, consistent, and bass-heavy, especially in the riffs and growls.
        Besides the somber, beautiful intro and outro tracks, Glass Casket cuts straight to the chase: straight, speedy brutality to begin and end each of the middle seven tracks. Their bass-heaviness, however, is not reliant on power chords as much as it is reliant on technical moving lines along the lower strings on the guitar.
        There are many conventional metal things you will hear and enjoy from
A Desperate Man's Diary, such as pinch harmonics, solos, double-pedal bass, alternations between growls and screams, and relentless riffing. However, some of the lead guitarist's solos sound much less technical and much slower than the rest of the songs' guitar riffs, but they give a soaring effect, especially in the use of pinch harmonic glissandos. With the low riffs in the background, this gives us wide-angle audio-vision. These moments in the album are particularly sweet but likewise short.
        While the middle tracks stay at full volume and speed for almost the entire way through, they also evolve continuously. You will hear syncopation changes (although slightly subtle), momentary breaks in the instrumentations (as if to catch their breaths), and some tricky rhythm changes here and there. While
A Desperate Man's Diary does not match Alaska's experimental technicality, its heavier parts are darker, more consistently heavy, and maintain this aura without losing listeners' attention.
       There isn't a great amount of originality in this album, though some points can be awarded for the treatment of solos and transitions. The band excels in performing the more typical jams of today's underground heavy music, but what I would like to hear on their next album is more emphasis on the unique elements of this album, namely the spacey solos coupled with the creepy-crawling low riffs.
        Obviously, fans of BTBAM should definitely be interested in this album, as well as fans of Darkest Hour, August Burns Red, Winter Solstice, and North Carolina's hardcore scene. Those who would like to hear a cleaner, crisper similarity to Black Dahlia Murder or a less dissonant From a Second Story Window type sound should also look this way.
A Desperate Man's Diary is high grade material in the grey areas of death metal, grindcore, and hardcore.
C.L. '06
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