Cavern – Tales of Ruin [US, Sludge/Rock] (2014)


Grimorie Records | 3-4-14

Grimorie Records | 3-4-14

Alright, there are a couple of reasons how I ran across this. First of all Grimorie Records is a Baltimore based metal label which specializes in, well, a lot of things. The second reason is that this brightly colored illustration depicts a crying nun and, well, that is eye catching to say the least. I am already writing about a black metal band from Grimorie but Cavern’s Tales of Ruin was just too disaffecting to pass up. I am also a sucker for sludge.

It is important to note that much like the other Grimorie band, Cavern has already had their self titled debut. With only 28 minutes in running time and 5 of that filled with a Big Business cover, one could be hesitant to travel in these rot covered swamps. While I was initially doubtful, Tales of Ruin offers a bounty of interesting moments and is by far accomplished for its small running time. The ten minute opener, “The Pathway | The Void” does more than enough to introduce the band as avid followers of not only 90’s sludge acts but also the bands that made hardcore complex and angular. Tales of Ruin is driven by its percussion section with the vocals following closely behind. It is the type of clenched teeth ride which makes everything exciting and possibly dangerous for everyone involved.

Cavern represents the sound of heavy metal that is less concerned with being metal than it is just being heavy. While Tales of Ruin could rest comfortably in a variety of places, its home is within that grey area between rock, sludge, hardcore, and general mayhem. Though I may have had trouble finding a place for it among my genre based catalog, it was entertaining enough to soak my shoes with swamp mud.