Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fire In The Cave - Fire In The Cave (EP) (2012)

Out of the ashes of one band, comes another. Comprised of the line-up from now defunct Bad Actor, comes Orlando, Florida's Fire In The Cave. This five piece defies genre tagging, as they walk the thin, blood red line between so many. Harnessing the raw energy of everything from black to psychedelic metal, this is a public service announcement to our countrymen and visitors alike, that Orlando has more to offer the world than Mickey Mouse and friends. On their self titled EP, they give us two reasons to believe that the deep south is far better than once thought.

A constant pounding of the kick drum opens "Civilized Swamp," before things quickly descend into sheer madness. What you come face to face with is an assault of black metal tenets, from machine gun drums to heavily distorted guitars. Vocalist Josh Mazorra screams his way through the early stages, pummeling your ear drums with pure hatred, but not without a rich, poetic quality. Somewhere in that harsh growling voice is a writer that sees beyond the surface effect. The real surprise, however, is how easily the band transition into, and out of, those blackened segments. In a flash, they draw back the hard and heavy, and lay down a more progressive guitar lead, one with character and substance. It's as if the switch is flipped, and they are brutally heavy; it is flipped again, and they put out something cathartic and melodic. This quality keeps you anticipating the next move, leaning in close to your speakers, waiting for the death blow.

Picking up where the opener left off, "Aeden Carr" is the straight punch to the jaw you wanted next. There is a perfect melodic edge to the way the guitars are delivered, especially when combined with a bass line that pokes its head out just enough. All of the pieces meld together nicely, but without giving up the tiny details that stand out for each. Even in the pure blackened death drum rolls, you aren't left to drown in a sea of blast beats, but rather you get to wade into small pools of rolls, riffs, and gritty vocals. Simply by listening, you give the band license to try other things, like the bluesy guitar lead that bursts out around the three minute mark. The soft whispers that follow may lull you into that false sense of security, but you should, by now, know what's coming. A crushing move forward, with Mazorra growling his way into your brain stem. The ferocity of his screams, however, is not the vessel for a song about fucking bitches, or driving fast cars. The lyrical content is there, a delicate balance of commentary and chaos. "With rifles at our backs, we charge onward, toward the sounds of hymnal desolation. These intruders will, soon know the ire of our kin."

There is a ground shaking rumble coming from all over the country, one that has the ability to open up whole cities, and swallow them whole. The new wave of American metal isn't all about how many "cores" you can add into your bio, something Fire In The Cave have proven. This movement is based on diversity and dedication to the craft. Sure, everything has been done before in some configuration or another, but why should that stunt the creativity of the new stars? This is not to say mashing up twenty different styles will always work out, but for this Florida five, it looks like they are on to something big.


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