Review: "Between Life" - Typecaste (Flatspot Records)

One of my favorite newer hardcore bands, Long Boston’s Typecaste, have released their second EP, Between Life. This is their first release on Flatspot Records, and is an explosive exploration into the band’s multifaceted sound.

Their last release, Creature of Habit, came out in 2018. This leaned more on the traditional metallic hardcore end, with a punky, fast-paced edge. In an interview with vocalist and lyricist Dylan Carlo (which will be up soon), he cited the band’s older influences as bands like Die My Will and Hatebreed. On Between Life, however, they aimed to channel bands like Crowbar, Gojira, Nothingface, and Deftones. While not going fully towards the metalcore/nu-metal sound that this might imply, there are definitely some notes to be heard on this EP. To me, drummer Sean Watson’s chaotic drum patterns specifically go towards that Deftones influence, while the more slowed-down-but-still-heavy feel to these new songs speak more to the Crowbar and Nothingface inspiration.

That was one of the first things I noticed about this EP on the initial listen - everything is a lot slower, but that just means that the musical aspects of each track work carefully to build the emotional tension required to back the intimate topics of Carlo’s lyrics. Through all releases, I’ve been a fan of the sincerity that emits from their music. With the combo of their sound and the raw, poignant way that Carlo spits his words, everything just comes off very genuine. “Memento Mori” opens the album with a heavy drop and plays on with chug-after-chug. Carlo explains this as a track where he is “looking back at how depressed [he] was before college, and where [he feels he is] at today.”

The next two tracks to follow are “Traverse” and “Hypnagogic Hallucination,” both of which Carlo wrote about meditation and sleep in general. “Traverse,” was well-chosen as the EP’s single - it shares the most similarity with the band’s older material, while also giving a taste of the newer aspects that they aim to incorporate. “Hypnagogic Hallucination” is a really interesting track in general, mimicking the anxious feeling that the words describe by dynamically switching from riff-to-riff, often changing the drum patterns and tempo.

(Photo credit: Rahul Raveendran)

My favorite track has to be the final one - “Under the Wreath.” It’s hard to describe, but this is one I had to listen to several times to feel that I fully felt and understood it. Carlo wrote this one about a friend that passed who was an “incredible positive and happy person,” lamenting on what this person meant to him, as well what it means to be remembered in death. The band takes a brave turn with this track by adding clean vocals to the end, with bassist Joey Chiaramonte singing “I just hope when it’s me/under the wreath/what you see is love,” into the outro of the EP. Clean vocals can be polarizing to a lot of hardcore listeners, particularly those who are purists about genre labels, but I think it brings the record to a fantastic, well-wrapped close.

As far as the title, I think it was brilliantly chosen for a record that explores sleep, death, and the unconscious mind. “‘Between Life’ just seemed to be a perfect summary of all the songs,” Carlo explains. “It’s the areas other than living.”

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Between Life. Each song is fleshed out with thought and care, without coming off as too manufactured. Additionally, on this EP, the band pushes themselves and the sounds they are comfortable with, while maintaining the familiar elements that keep them who they are.

You can listen to Between Life via Bandcamp below:


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