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Skullcave’s “FEAR” is Easy Listening Reimagined

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A three piece loosely described as doomgaze, Perth’s Skullcave breaks the rules of both singular components by offering more than just a whole lot of sound. Through borrowing the best elements from different eras of experimental rock, Skullcave offers an inventive take on heavy music’s potential for profound mellowness. Laid back but not burned out, unbound but still patient, FEAR is easy listening reimagined.

Whenever artists limit themselves to one style, chances are, they’ll arrive at their goal in a short time, but they’ll subsist for a span that’s even shorter. For Skullcave, the secret for success comes with rebellion against any rush effort. Guitarist Jay Marriott has stated that production on Skullcave’s 6th release provided a reminder to “take time to allow the art to reveal itself.” The journey of self-discovery behind the album’s five ambitious tracks reads through.

The first breath of “Escape” is like opening your eyes for the first time. A track that grows like a wildflower, disharmonious progressive moments remind you that you’re ultimately listening to a modern heavy band. The point of view of a melancholic artist who just so happens to be playing acoustic instruments prepares you for the crash of the metallic wave that is “Fear to Hide.”
Vocalist and drummer Liam Young demonstrates his clean singing as matters become sludgier, yet the word clean isn’t entirely accurate. The organic drone of his voice offers a distorted feel while fuller roars don’t overpower the complexity of the instrumentals. While all tracks err on the longer side, Skullcave doesn’t use repetition as a cheap tool of hypnosis. Once the seed of a riff has reached full bloom, the journey continues into the next pasture.

Comparisons can be made to Yob and 40 Watt Sun, but the drifting into 90’s alt rock disillusionment and grasping at modern post-metal’s optimism gives it an identity all its own. As movements increasingly become melting pots and pigeon holes become obsolete, our brains will ultimately drop their urge to detect and label, making the music-listening experience all the easier.

FEAR releases September 20th via Art As Catharsis. Follow the band on Facebook.

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