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Caveat – Alchemy

Caveat
Alchemy
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 March 2022, 11:33 AM

CAVEAT was formed in mid-2001 by founding members Greg Musgrave on guitar and vocals, Jawad Baloch on drums & Terry Baldwin on bass & backing vocals. Shortly afterward Casey Rogers was asked to join as the new drummer. The band had many line-up changes as well as a couple hiatuses. But in 2017 and 2018, writing commenced for the album and would feature new vocalist Amanda as more of the primary voice in the new material. Production was completed in late 2020, but due to the Covid pandemic-related shutdowns, the band decided to shelve its release for the duration of 2021 as a result. Now, they are ready to send “Alchemy” to the masses.

The album “Alchemy” contains seven tracks. “Silver” leads off the album. It opens with harmonized female vocals and some ominous sounds in the rhythm section. Some layers develop along with lead guitar parts. The thick and dark sound here just works. I am assuming that Greg handles the harsh vocals, which add another dimension to the music. The title track opens with rolling bass guitar notes and drums…tense and ready to strike. More harmonized vocals combine with tough riffs and harsh vocals at times. “Infinite” features harsh vocals out of the gates with cleans in support. At times, the cadence of the vocals takes on an almost “rapped” style. The music is thick, rich, and full…another element that many bands in this genre lose sight of.

“Black Mirror” begins with bass notes and clean guitars in a swinging sound. The rhythm guitars build meaty layers with plenty of precision from the musicians. The dark and brooding sound continues throughout the song until bear the end, when clean vocals carry the melody forward. “Ghost” is the long song on the album, beginning with some pensive clean vocals from both vocalists. The slowed down sound allows the melodies to shine a bit more, and oh man are they clear and charming. The song carries on just a bit longer than it should, as some of the elements get repetitive. The clean elements are a nice change of pace, however. “Until Dawn” begins with momentous clean melodies that shine high into the clouds. What a nice surprise! Again, I can’t say enough about the bass work here. Please continue to let Matt play and feature him as often as possible. “Zero Hour” closes the album. It’s another song with strong female cleans; I think this sound is worth developing some more. It can overtake the harsh elements, but I never say that too much melody is a bad thing.

This is classic Melodic Death Metal, but different than the forefathers we all know. The harmonized clean vocals bring that element of temperance to the album, while the harsh vocals keep things rough and dark. A clean female singer and a harsh male singer have surely been done before many times, but I really like the interaction between these two. As a seasoned band, they have experience with songwriting, yet their sound isn’t old and tired. Indeed, it is energetic and infused with passion, and the bass work is fantastic…an instrument that often gets lost in the Metal genre. This was a nice surprise for me.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Silver
2. Alchemy
3. Infinite
4. Black Mirror
5. Ghost
6. Until Dawn
7. Zero Hour
Lineup:
Amanda Marie Bourdon – Vocals & Keyboards
Greg Musgrave – Guitar & Vocals
Joe Sikorski – Guitars
Matt Petti – Bass
Casey Rogers – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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