The Massacre Cave – GODLUST
When the hooks hit on The Massacre Cave's debut album, they are magnificent
Given that The Massacre Cave – the brainchild of Eigg natives Joe and Ben Cormack – take their name from the most infamous incident in their island homesake’s history, it’s fitting that their sound owes more to the grisly connotations of the eponymous slaughter than to the musical output that normally emanates from the small isles. They snap up choice elements from the history of heavy like it was a musical pick’n’mix and even if the spirit of thrash does run through a few of these cuts, there’s no mistaking that this is very much a ‘modern’ metal album.
The Cormack brothers show a knack for clean, tight riffing from the outset, We Own the Sun delivering its punch early before flickers of intricacy begin to break up the aggression. But much of GODLUST’s strength comes from its dalliances with the unexpected, like An Itchy Finger’s staccato sludge midsection or the low-key prog malevolence of the album’s title cut. Where the guitars do dare to flash a little extravagance, the solos don’t overstay their welcome and generally try their best not to disrupt the record’s idiosyncratic flow.
Being brutally honest, in the wrong hands this could have been a mess. There is a tendency to meander and the imbalance between sprawling epics and short, sharp barbs of ferocity isn’t exactly subtle but for some reason all faults can be forgiven. When the hooks hit (and there are plenty of them) they are magnificent. There’s a delicate balance of intricacy and aggression that never falters and whether it’s that subtle Hebridean influence or maybe just something special in the water, there’s enough here to separate The Massacre Cave from the scores of bands who’ve tried, and failed, to do what they accomplish so readily here.
Listen to: From the Mountains, Tetramethrin, Fighting Giants