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Miscellaneous Recollections 92-97 - 85%

NateVoD, August 11th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2001, CD, Kapow

While rarities collections are often a mixed bag, and generally reserved for hardcore fans, this compilation overall is pretty damn solid and serves as a very good introduction to this band, and that's coming from experience as this is the first album I picked up from these guys.

This album is a compilation of ten tracks from hard to find EPs, singles and splits with 6 tracks from their first demo somewhat awkwardly tacked on to the end. The style of the band is sludge metal, with Eyehategod being a likely influence, and the closest reference point I can think of (apart from Black Cobra, which is a later band, and contains former Cavity member Jason Landrian). However, where I would describe Eyehategod as very loose, mainly slow tempo sludge with occasional bursts of hardcore punk speed, on the first half of this record at least, Cavity are the opposite. That is fast, tight, agressive hardcore punk infused sludge, only occasionally changing down to more slower Sabbath-y tempos.

The first track, a live recording of "Wounded" sets the tone for the record, a short, fast paced fusion of vicious, misanthropic sludge and aggressive hardcore punk. Tracks 4, 5, 6, and 7, "Fuck Diablo", "Angel Rust", and "Spine I" and "Spine II" are also in this style and also very enjoyable. Tracks 2, 8, and 9, "Big Hit Man", "Covered Twice" and "the Oblivionist" are more mid tempo and closer to the classic sludge sound, however they're still pretty fast for the style, with Big Hit Man erupting back into filthy hardcore punk fury towards the end of the track. Of note "Covered Twice" was reworked into "Set In Cinders" for the Supercollider album. Covered Twice is the far superior version however , mostly due to the rawer production and excellent vocals of Rene Barge, who is completely absent on Supercollider. Spine I and II are also found on Hydra Head Record's reissue of the Laid Insignificant EP, as they were originally outtakes from that record (the reissue also inexplicably omits the track "Demon", a killer Septic Death cover).

Other songs on the album showcase Cavity's more experimental side, that being the feedback drenched, bass driven instrumental "Sometimes Sweet Susan" and track 10, "Shutdown (Annihilation Man") which is a Germs cover. Shutdown has Rene Barge adopting a clean vocal style that is unheard on the rest of the record, and except for some sludgy riffing towards the end of the track, remains pretty faithful to the original's sound.

The remainder of the compilation, tracks 11 through 16, are early demos and are a somewhat jarring shift in sound from the rest of the record, being slow, primitive sludge, roughly recorded on an 8 track. These tracks sound to my ears a bit like a cruder version of the band Grief, especially the vocals. While the tracks are all pretty decent, I really don't enjoy Rene Barge's vocals on these much, nor the band's penchant to throw in heaps of ear-raping, squealing feedback. It doesn't sound like Barge has found his vocal style on these tracks yet, and they are very throaty, ugly, raw and unmelodic. Where as i find his work on the rest of the album, and many of their other records, great. His style being hardcore-ish screaming typical of the sludge sound, except performed really well, dripping with utter malevolence and desperation but still being coherent and hooky.

So in summary, this release serves as a great introduction to the band, and is well worth picking up for new and old fans alike. I bought this record 10 years a go and while I may not play the whole thing regularly (I usually skip the demos, and the instrumental), the first half the the record has had a sound thrashing over the years and is top notch.