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Cavity - "Laid Insignificant (reissue)" (CD)

Cavity - "Laid Insignificant (reissue)" CD cover image

"Laid Insignificant (reissue)" track listing:

1. Laid Insignificant
2. The Woods
3. 9 Fingers on the Spider
4. Marginal Man
5. I May Go
6. Spine I
7. Spine II
8. A Bitter Cold Spell

Reviewed by on March 25, 2008

"'Laid Insignificant' should serve as a blueprint for the new school of sludge bands trying to etch out a reputation out in the basement circuit."

Fans of Eyehategod, Iron Monkey and Floor will surely remember sludge masters Cavity. The Florida doom-dealers were known for their vile mix of Sleep-influenced cemetery groove and Black Flag-like punk dissonance. The demented minds at Hydra Head Records are about to release “Laid Insignificant,” which was originally found on Pushead’s lamented Bacteria Sour label. The eight songs have been remastered and packaged with gorgeous Aaron Turner artwork. Although the band broke up about five years ago, many fans still hold a torch for them and often cite “Laid Insignificant” as their crowning opus. From the eerie film sample that gets things started to the crashing drug-addled chords that closes the album out, Cavity come off irritated, paranoid and utterly hopeless. For this particular brand of metal, all of these things end up adorning the music perfectly.

In the late 90’s, bands playing this style were a dime-a-dozen, but Cavity always had something special about them. Everything from their imagery to the guitar and bass tones had their own unique flair. Steve Heritage (formerly of the great Assuck) does a stellar job of capturing the band’s frenzied performance, warts and all. It’s a shame he hasn’t graced more albums with his production work in the last few years. His meat and potatoes style is definitely missed in the over-produced metal and punk world these days. "Laid Insignificant" should serve as a blueprint for the new school of sludge bands trying to etch out a reputation out in the basement circuit.

Rene Barge’s anguished screeching cuts through the sheets of distortion like javelins. You can hardly ever make out what he’s actually screaming about but then again, that isn’t the point. His voice ends up becoming like a third guitar by the time the songs start seeping into your brain. The band’s use of feedback is masterful. The high-pitched squeals bob in and out of the riffs lending the album a punkish vibe. But make no mistake, at the heart and soul of Cavity, there is deep admiration for Black Sabbath’s Volume 4, which casts its monstrous spell over all of their material. Songs like “9 Fingers on the Spider” possess the swagger of classic Iommi, albeit with a down-tuned bent on it. Things quiet down a bit during the hazy blues swing of “I May Go” just long enough to let you catch your breath. But things head back into familiar territory with the Amphetamine thrash of “Marginal Man.”

Highs: The perfect combination of doom, punk and Sabbath inspired riff-rock.

Lows: It would have been interesting to see the band incorporate more of their up-tempo riffs.

Bottom line: If you follow the sludgier bands on labels like Southern Lord and Rise Above, you probably already own this record, but you should be ashamed if you don’t.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)