Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cavern/Anthesis - Split



I write a fairly regular review of 7” releases, just because we get a decent number of them to check out.  In a lot of ways, metal has lead the charge back to vinyl, and now that vinyl has become “cool”, everyone puts out releases on vinyl.  I even saw Justin Timberlake vinyl at Target.  If that doesn't sum up everything that is wrong with the world today, I'm not sure what does.  Anyway, I was going to write this up as part of my 7” series, and make some juvenile joke about you getting 12” this month, but I decided not to.  I will say, though, that making penis size innuendo in album reviews never gets old.

So here we have two bands that are well suited to a split release.  They are both brutal, angry sounding bands, although my one complaint is that they almost sound a little too much alike.  I'll get to that, though.  This is a sub-genre of metal that I never paid much attention too until I started doing these reviews, and then I heard a few releases and realized I really, really like this stuff that sounds like guys who are hell bent on eviscerating you in the street, pissing on your carcass, and leaving you to be found by the authorities.  Certainly there is a lot of grind and aggression in this music, but there are touches of other things as well.  Both bands get a little sludgy at times, both bands veer off into death metal land once in a while, and they both have their own unique combination, their own take, on what brutal aggression sounds like.

First up is Cavern.  They are a little more concise in their song structures so they get the first 6 songs here.  They come at you right of the box with “Plague/Smog”.  No time to warm up and get ready for the assault, either you're ready from the first note or will be overrun in nothing flat.  If you think you're going to catch your breath while listening to these guys, this might not be the band for you.  And the hits just keep on coming, not those lame ass Top 40 hits, but body blows that split your ribs, like “Swarm” and “Greed”.  In fact, all of these tracks just pummel you about the head and body, like a boxer who pulls no punches and throws every punch as though his life depends on it.  “Winter” and “Nyos” just keep it coming.  Only on their closer, “Genie”, do they change up the pace long enough that you even notice.  And maybe have a chance to regroup before you find yourself face down in the street, waking up 3 hours later wondering what the hell happened.  That's Cavern.  Drop the needle and rage.

Anthesis get 4 songs for their part of the split.  And their first track, “Voices”, comes raging and spitting out of the gate, like some king cobra/boa constrictor combo that wants to poison you AND crush you.  Except these guys throw a little technicality into the mix, so you get some technical death metal stuff going on, some wheedly/woodlies going on with the guitars, and even a slow motion feeling breakdown.  Still very aggro, still very in your face, but coming at you with a different approach.  The fun continues with “Beaching Of The Whales”, the music lurching and reeling like me at closing time on a Saturday night.  “Iced Current and Crimson Ivy” bashes and swaggers like I picture The Thing crashing a party he very much wants to attend.  I can even hear him bellow, “It's clobberin' time”.  And everything gets wrapped up with a not so pretty bow on “In Progress”.  All coming at you like a good old 15 round heavyweight title fight, back in the days when boxers were real men and fought 15 rounds and didn't worry about sill things like traumatic brain injuries.

If you need a quick, musical punch to the head and guts to get you pumped up and feeling alive, grab a copy of this split.  It will most certainly do the trick.

- ODIN




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