deathCAVE, ii (Satanik Royalty Records, 2022)

deathCAVE had been on my list of bands to check out since learning about Satanik Royalty Records.

Still, it wasn't until meeting the Seattle group's bassist/vocalist Freiburger that I was reminded of them due to the general chaos of life. I focused on seeing them live as soon as I could last September, and I'm excited to spread the word about their new EP.

With one original and incredible Black Sabbath cover, the power found in the trio of members that make deathCAVE is fully on display. 

My review will start by talking about their cover of Black Sabbath's "The Writ." I had to listen to the original to get some perspective on how it differed from the original, where their sound as a band added some different personalities, etc.

I have to say, partly thanks to deathCAVE; I think Black Sabbath's Sabotage record is my new favorite from the years of Ozzy on vocals. Freiburger's growls and denser throaty howls add to the power of the lyrics in a way that makes the song feel like an original. I believe the guitarist Tony also contributes vocals, so some of the growls may be his contribution; nonetheless, this is an excellent reintroduction of "The Writ" that I feel will send many more listeners to rediscover Sabotage or discover it for the first time possibly.

Onto "Birch Trees Are Bones" now. I want to highlight the playing of drummer Benny Koslosky. I can't get tired of hearing his playing on record and live in equal measures. As a drummer myself, I find drumming in metal bands to occasionally become predictable and not always done in a way that improves the music overall.

At 12 minutes and ten seconds, "Birch Trees Are Bones" creates a sonic palette for you to get lost in without any excess. It's clear that the overall song structure is intentional, with a range of influences spanning psychedelic rock, death metal, black metal, and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll being heard in one song. 

If you're in the Seattle or Portland area, there are a few upcoming shows to see deathCAVE play. Two are with Matt Pike's new band, Pike Vs. the Automaton, and both also feature fellow Satanik Royalty band Old Iron; those shows are May 5th at Bar House in Seattle and May 8th at the High Water Mark in Portland.

Also, in Seattle, at the Southgate Roller Rink, deathCAVE will be playing with Maximum Mad and Impulse Noise on May 27th.

Their next full-length is already in the works, so there will be plenty more to hear from deathCAVE in the future. 

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