Thursday, November 05, 2009

Crucial Blast on Cadaver in Drag

Another thoughtful write-up from the Crucial Blast catalog:

Cadaver in Drag "Abuse/Breathing Sewage"

The last album from Kentucky's Cadaver In Drag (2007's Raw Child) showed that the band was just as apt to deliver a grinding slab of metallic hypno-sludge as they were to blast skulls with a brutal industrial/noise assault, existing somewhere betwixt the realms of the harsh noise cassette scene and the low-fi avant-metal underground. When you dig back into their catalog, though, you'll find their earlier material harsh and based in extreme power electronics, as was explored on their now out of print Abuse CD-R. This new disc on Bloodlust! collects both the out-of-print Abuse material and a track from their also long-gone Breathing Sewage cassette for an even mix of vicious power electronics / industrial noise and the sort of damaged metallic dronesludge that these guys are so great at doing, with an extra unreleased track added on for good measure.

The opening track "Abuse 1" is a juddering twenty-two minute mass of sound populated by an omnipresent static throb that sounds like the buzz of a piece of heavy electronic equipment on dying batteries emanating a deep bone-rattling drone that slowly changes pitch throughout the track, while scraping metal noises mix with high-pitched feedback warble. This slowly builds in intensity until the midway point, when the distorted screams kick in and the feedback and distorted electrical throb all become much more violent and frenzied. It's a heavy, astringent industrial attack with a Broken Flag/Ramleh vibe. The second track "Abuse II" is shorter at nine minutes, and continues the riotous electronic spew with an opening blast of metallic feedback buzz that blossoms into mortar-like explosions of crushing distortion. This buzzing, swarming hive of grimy electronic grind fluctuates violently over the duration of the track, going from underwater squelch to brutal overdriven clots of noise that almost sound like a gang of guitars are being throttled and destroyed beneath the heavy fug of amplifier buzz.

It's not until we get to the "Breathing Sewage" track from the 2005 cassette of the same name that we come to the sort of noisy, sludgy metallic heaviness that Cadaver In Drag delivered on Raw Child . For nearly ten minutes, the band bathes in monstrous distorted guitar rumble and syrupy sludge, like an early Sunn jam drenched in industrial noise and mixed with all of the levels in the red, a massive earth-shaking mass of crumbling metallic drone that sloughs off huge sheets of rotten feedback and sputtering cable buzz while the singer bellows in rage, his voice cloaked by intense distortion, a fusion of brutal power electronics and ambient doomdrone that becomes more and more chaotic as the piece progresses, turning into pure chaos at the end as messy guitar shredding and lumbering over-modulated rhythms appear.

The final track "Leak" is previously unreleased and is the most overtly PE-influenced track on the disc. Here, the band join forces with Mark Solotroff (Of Bloodyminded/Nightmares) for a shrieking, malevolent bout of old school power electronics. Painful metallic feedback scrapes the edges of eardrums and wavering flanged noises flutter in the background while Solotroff rants maniacally; the track becomes noisier towards the end, before fading out in a cloud of effects