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Cave Bastard - The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth

Cave Bastard
The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth
by Jon Conant at 19 March 2018, 4:47 AM

CAVE BASTARD is a relatively new quasi-super group featuring members of TEMBLAD, PIGLIFE, and BRIDGE JUMPER formed out of San Diego, CA. They’re following up a demo and split LP with their first full length, “The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth” due out on March 23rd via Accident Prone Records. Their 2016 demo features material that is all present on “The Bleak Shall Devour the Earth,” so we already kind of knew what to expect on the album they’ve spent 3+ years working on: brutal death metal with a meticulous and traditional approach.

That becomes immediately apparent in the slow and dark opener “Throes of the Devourer.” The veteran approach continues into the beginning of album anchor and main single “Neo-Genesis.” Chaotic drums and bass that can’t be kept a secret, which I love, and absolutely brutal vocals with guitars that are kind of proggy, and perfectly executed. But then we encounter what sets this album apart: layer and texture. A modern and groovy riff kicks in at about 2:00 that is head-bang inducing as anything else on the market, and really fucking fresh. Then: total chaos of screaming and drumming, before a mid-song ambient slow down that eventually descends into the thrashing and pounding last 45 seconds of the track.

“Neo-Genesis” is a tour de force of modern death metal, and does its job perfectly setting up the rest of this equally impressive album.

We see longer and darker ‘epics’ in “Trapped in a World of Formlessness” and closer “Liar Betrayed.” Shorter tracks “Massacre Reaction” and “Purity Through Oblivion” push the album forward, particularly with a killer middle section riff in “Massacre Reaction” making it perfect single material. All the songs are laced with a brilliant sense of veteran experimentation, and while I certainly wouldn’t go as far as to call them prog, they’ve definitely headed in that direction for a death metal band.

This was a well thought out and implemented album, composed beautifully, and executed with poise. The worst complaint I could maybe have is some issues with the production, but that all boils down to personal taste because everything was done exceptionally well. I love the subject matter of the album as well, in CAVE BASTARD's own words:

"'Neo-Genesis' is a part of the story of the Cave Bastard, which is the main theme of The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth. All of the pain, chaos, and torment that reality brings culminate into one being…”

Good shit, boys.

In future albums I’d love to see CAVE BASTARD explore the modern riffs that are groovier/djentier, like we get a taste of in “Neo-Genesis” and “Massacre Reaction” (and even a bit in “Purity Through Oblivion”). But for now, “The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth” is a fantastic and modern death metal entry in this young band’s catalog, which certainly has an exciting future.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Throes of the Devourer
2. Neo-Genesis
3. Methane Epistaxis
4. Massacre Reaction
5. Trapped in a World of Formlessness
6. Martial Asphyxiation
7. Purity Through Oblivion
8. Liar Betrayed
Record Label: Accident Prone Records


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Edited 22 September 2019

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