Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Massacre Cave - The Ninth Wave (2012)

As we stated recently on our Facebook, we are honest men, if nothing else. Our reviews are an honest assessment (albeit subjective) of the music we hear. So, regardless of how we came across an artist, rest assured that we are giving you a straightforward opinion on the music. In the case of The Massacre Cave, a four piece band from the tiny island of Eigg, which resides off the coast of Scotland, a white label CDR shipped across the ocean blue was all it took. Within seconds of pressing play on "The Ninth Wave," the method of delivery no longer mattered. Rooted so firmly in their homes and heritage, this folk tinged thrash speaks for itself.

As the guitars kick in on "Winds Of Death," they immediately lodge themselves into your frontal cortex, bending and winding through rapid fire notes. The drums are equally as catchy, coming fast and furious. The vocals are less polished, often coming through the style of raw yelling. It may be off putting at first, but you soon realize that you wouldn't want it any other way. The intricacies that come into play, through bass and guitar progression, are dazzling. The melodies and tempo are what draw the folk comparisons, with the high speed riffs tangling themselves into the bass line time and again. The solo that emerges in the latter stages is proof of the talent you are dealing with. The energetic assault of "Long Time At Sea" could even be called sludge, with the harsh vocals drowned in a storm of endless kick snare combos and darting guitar notes. The layer and volume build up in the pre-chorus sets the table perfectly for a vocal hook. But again, they don't settle for one sound or style. Instead, they throw you a change-up, literally, in the form of a power shift. Don't lose track of the lyrics, as they ring with honesty and truth, despite their raw delivery.

There is no more poignant example than on "Behemoth," scattered with audio from news outlets. Helping the lyrical message catch fire is a barrage of drums that rings out from left to right. The guitar riffs that fill the verse are intoxicating, and easily entrenched for days. The Cormack brothers, Ben and Joe, have no shortage of blistering fret work, as is evident with each new melody that comes to the service. You won't find any recycled riffing here, no monotone chugging. Instead, you are treated to some good thrash guitars, with a heavy dose of finger wizardry. Combined with a twisting bass line, and you have a winning team. The closing opus, "The Prey Approaches," is right at home anchoring the EP. If you thought you could escape cleanly, this six minute track will draw you back in, starting with a maniacal laugh. Between the machine gun drums and the wild guitar riffs, there is enough fire here to bring a city to the ground. Everything before was fast, but this is faster. The previous songs were catchy, but this one clings onto every part of your ear canal. The vocals hit their stride at the perfect moment, taking on a strength that may have been lacking in the earlier efforts. The cohesion between all the moving parts is the star, and this is their trophy track.

After a few listens, it's fairly easy to see why The Massacre Cave has earned rave reviews from those who have heard them. They play a brand of thrash that may sound raw at times, but one that is beautifully crafted and finely tuned. While it would be a stretch to call them folk/thrash or even folk at all, those elements come through here and there, just enough to have a home and a purpose. There isn't a stray drum hit, or a single string out of place. Don't let their humor fool you; these guys are top notch musicians. On "The Ninth Wave," they harnessed every bit of energy the sea had to offer, and burned it onto a piece of plastic.


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