Album Reviews

Cavesnake: Cavesnake – “submerged in mystery and illusion”

The elusive London duo deliver big on their debut offering.

You won’t be shocked to learn that many things slip through the net in the realms of online publication. Emails from PRs or, indeed, artists that go by the wayside, to the point where you feel awful for not responding.

Sadly, there are not enough hours in the day to keep up with it all. We try our best to listen to everything we are sent, but at the rate that submissions are received, it’s a losing battle at every turn.

Still, there are some winners and that’s where Cavesnake come into the equation.

The London band are the product (in their own words) of “deep-space neurosis, isolation and nightmare.” How does that sound, exactly?

On paper, fusing together the ideas of black metal, noise, ambient, and drone seems like a tall order, but Cavesnake do an admirable job on their self-titled debut LP.

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It’s a project submerged in mystery and illusion. Cavesnake, billed as a duo, join the few artists these days that revel in anonymity. Where there continues to be a swathe of artists clogging up Instagram feeds with posts in a bid for incessant validation, Cavesnake are at the other end of spectrum.

There is no social media. There are no press photos. The duo, going under the namesakes of Oxgoat and Sikander Louse, are faceless exponents of this thing we call art. A bit of mystery never hurt anyone and, in truth, there should be more of it.

When listening to Cavesnake, the first thing that springs to mind is the ideas. Much like another recently discovery, New Zealand’s, The Escalation, Cavesnake are another act that continues to take psychedelia into new orbits. Whilst very much deriving from the metal pantheon, make no mistake, Cavesnake cover a lot of ground here.  

It all starts with the minimalist black metal cut, Pseudohalo. A spatial exploration cloaked in ambience that moves so slow it aches.

On Bloodless Weapon things get a bit more dissonant, as Cavesnake lean heavier on their instincts for pure noise – the kind of paranoid grip one would feel on their way to the killing floor of a slaughterhouse. It’s extreme in every sense.

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Which is something Posture In Defeat is not – a product of soft ambience, floating streams of feedback and gentle drones, it’s almost as though Cavesnake have been hijacked by a different band. Given their obscurity, it’s not a stretch to say it’s possible…

Vipers Dance sits between the worlds of the preceding two compositions, with Cavesnake producing some hybrid chamber drone that’s etched in doom. Which continues on the closer, Fleshware – a drone gaze Nadja-esque cut that maintains the paranoia.

In yet another boon by Tyneside label, Cruel Nature Records, Cavesnake are a very welcome addition to the stable. This is exactly the kind of record that will draw listeners from different worlds, tastes and backgrounds. It’s what music should be about and Cavesnake are the latest purveyors to share these possibilities.

Cavesnake is out now via Cruel Nature Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

4 replies on “Cavesnake: Cavesnake – “submerged in mystery and illusion””

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