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Gloom and Gaze: Skullcave’s Ethereal Doom Shines on New Video for “Offend, Repeat”

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Australian label Art as Catharsis have hit a rather prolific stride lately, with several notable releases spanning an eclectic and avant-garde range of genres already issued this year. The latest addition to their track record comes in the form of a new track from Perth doomgaze outfit Skullcave. The single, entitled “Offend/Repeat,” takes their uncanny fusion of styles to more extreme depths of passion and emotion than ever before.

Since 2014, Skullcave have worked diligently and tirelessly at crafting their uniquely sludgy mix of grunge, noise rock, and dirge-like doom metal. Combining highly overdriven guitar tone with the cavernous rhythms and melancholic, almost gothic vocals of drummer/vocalist Liam Young, the group has created a sound largely reminiscent of early 1990s effects-heavy rock but infused with the brutal stylings of traditional doom. Drenched in fuzzed-out static and mournfully anthemic riffs, “Offend, Repeat” represents a major culmination of the Skullcave’s efforts up to this point and a marked step forward from the material on their 2018 full-length FEAR (which we premiered last year). Though the track was officially released this past Monday, the group has now unveiled an accompanying music video to visually illustrate its seven intrepid minutes. Watch below.

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Obscured by fog and bathed in a lugubrious purple glow, the clip begins with its three members performing live in a dark basement studio, with Young’s tom-heavy drumkit positioned opposite a veritable fortress of Orange and Marshall amplifiers which pour out distorted guitar and bass timbres. As the track progresses, its members become enraptured by its intensity, leaning into the physicality of their performances as fog and light begins to swirl up around them, consuming the band in ambient tones charged with a fervent devotion to their music.

A relatively straightforward companion to the heft and complexity of their sonic experimentation, the video eschews fancy production values and over-the-top gimmicks to focus instead on “Offend, Repeat”’s compositional style and broad range of intensity, achieving a sense of clear congruity with heartfelt qualities. As evidenced here, Skullcave’s modus operandi is to evoke meaning through the power of creative songwriting, allowing the quality of their brand of doom-tinged shoegaze to shine through countless layers of fuzz and feedback.

“Offend, Repeat” released Monday via Art as Catharsis.

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