Good memories of the state of Florida are few and far between for me, but they’re there. For example, my grandfather and my cousin, both weaponry enthusiasts in their own right, decided to take me and my brothers out for a drive. We spent a good 20 or so minutes on a highway between alligator-infested swamps that had since become scorched fields of dead plant life only to come to a gun shop. The whole thing is a bit surreal in retrospect as the first thing I saw upon entering was a display case filled with Nazi memorabilia followed by an array of guns, swords and other military regalia of old. It was a kind of haven for those whose war-induced erections are a challenge to subside. The proprietors of the establishment sat at a round table in the middle of the room, your standard Harry Crews grotesques: two rather large old women and an old man brandishing a double holster with two guns shoved in both.
Cavity, in my dumbfounded, suburban Yankee mind, embodies such experiences. Laid Insignificant is a grotesque, sun-scorched slab of malcontent southern stoner metal with a hatred further bolstered by east coast hardcore. It was an interesting layer of confrontation that was bubbling in the swamps with Eyehategod while Deadguy and Dillinger Escape Plan were blazing through the suburbs up north. Both sounds have been picked up on over the decade and digested and secreted into a series of mutations. While now it’s somewhat of a stretch, I imagine that, at least for their earlier stages, Mastodon has a little bit of Cavity in them. However, with Hydra Head’s reintroduction of this decade-old work, those spoiled by the indulgent glory of current sludge bands can either bask or cower in the more straightforward, but certainly more blistering sonics of such a band.
If anything, Cavity can certainly be given credit for consistency. Every song explodes with loathing at deafening volumes. Vocalist Rene Barge doesn’t so much scream as he growls demonically in a sound that come closest to resembling an inverted Chris Barnes. While both vocal styles surely crimson the throat and are basically indecipherable with or without a lyric sheet, Barnes is more Grendel whereas Barge is more Beelzebub. He is backed up be a wall of riffs that both hammer and slash with weighted fuzz and vein-throbbing feedback. The first three numbers trudge along at a standard tar-based pace, though things jolt to the speed of Flipper with the just under a minute and a half “Marginal Man.” All of the tracks have been remastered and include additional songs from the original sessions. All of it is topped off with the consistently brilliant aesthetic refinement of Aaron Turner which brings this record into the modern world ever more firmly, though still very much grounded in a time when found samples were a bit more creative.
Eyehategod – Take As Needed For Pain
Black Cobra – Feather and Stone
Crowbar – Odd Fellows Rest