Fire in the Cave – Fire in the Cave (28 February 2012)
Happy Friday!! I’m so ready for the week to be over so I can get my ass home! No more school for a few months, no more work for a few days, nothing to do but kick back and… do all the shit I need to take care of around the house, that I’m unable to do during the week. Sometimes it feels like I barely get a single minute to myself, to relax or whatever. I’ll be honest with you — I’m always amazed (and, I’ll admit, sometimes a little jealous) when I hear about one of my colleagues in the music-writing world being in a band, on top of the writing and also having a “real” job and whatever else they’ve got going on. I hardly find the time to go to shows as often as I’d like, let alone to be able to rehearse beforehand, or even to put in the effort to recruit a bunch of people to even get started in the first place! But like I said, there are some people out there that manage to do it all, and I definitely respect that.
Case in point is Jarad Oates, editor/writer for Orlandooom!, plus an occasional guest columnist for … well, as far as I can tell, pretty much every other Florida-based music-related publication in existence. In addition to all of that, he’s also a member of Orlando swamp-metal warlords Fire in the Cave, for whom he contributes caveman-esque (no pun intended) bellowed vocals. A couple of months ago, that band self-released a self-titled EP, and I’d like to share that with you now.
Now, you might already be somewhat familiar with these guys if you caught my post from about a month ago, where I told you about Grip of Delusion‘s Book of Riff Elations compilations. As you might recall, Fire in the Cave’s song “Civilized Swamp” was track 31 on Volume 1 of that massive collection.
If, for some reason, you missed out on that announcement, you should totally go back and check it out, because there are literally dozens of excellent tunes available for the taking! But if you didn’t miss it (unless, maybe, you still have dial-up internet, and you’re still working on downloading those enormous ZIP files), then you’re probably as excited as I was to learn that they’ve got more music out there — and especially that it’s available from Bandcamp as a name-your-own-price download!
The sixteen-minute EP Fire in the Cave consists of two songs, each of which comprises almost exactly half of the running length. Starting things off in grandiose fashion is the aforementioned “Civilized Swamp.” Right out the gates, the band begin building up the tempo and intensity to hit a huge climax only half a minute in; here the vocals enter at full throttle, simply bashing the listener in the forehead, for perhaps another half-minute. Then immediately almost everything drops away, leaving a simple and mellow guitar part, nearly drowned out by the echoes still reverberating from the rage that had just subsided. At this point you may be wondering whether this band only has notches at eleven and at one, but we soon discover that they are able to adjust the controls anywhere throughout the sonic spectrum. Over the next several minutes we are treated to various degrees of slamming sludge riffs and mellower bluesy licks, all put together very well and with nothing out of place. By the end of the song, you hardly realize that eight whole minutes have passed, as it could have continued for considerably longer without having overstayed its welcome at all.
Fortunately, just as abruptly as that had ended, “Aeden Carr” commences. Strangely enough, the first words of this song (which are uttered immediately) are identical to the previous track: “This civilized swamp,” prompting me to do a quick side-by-side comparison just to make sure these aren’t actually two versions of the same song. They aren’t; paying closer attention to the lyrics demonstrates this — apart from the phrase that opens each. Much of this track is slightly more down-tempo than its predecessor; it quickly settles into a moderate metallic groove, then soon after hits the brakes for some thick, down-tuned heaviness. This is sludgey and swampy, to be sure, but never muddy or unclear. Soon enough, though, we clearly have sunk deep enough to hit bottom, and at this point — around two minutes from the end — the band bounces back in a hurry, seeming to now be racing for the finish line at about quadruple the speed (it seems) from where we had begun. And just like that, once again we’ve reached the end of the song — and in fact, of the EP — well before we might have preferred to do so.
Fire in the Cave is available using the Bandcamp widget below — either for listening to or downloading — but then be sure to keep your eyes and ears open, because hopefully we can look forward to plenty more from these Floridians at some point in the not-too-distant future!
If you happen to live in the Orlando area, you can catch the band playing tomorrow (Saturday, 5 May 2012) at the You Are Doomed Fest II – details here.