Australian noisemongers Mental Cavity – three quarters of whom are also in sludge/doom outfit I Exist – haven’t been extant that long but already have an EP and now this, debut, full-lengther to their credit.
I say full-lengther, but Aneurysm is only a tick over half an hour long, squeezing in ten tracks and an intro and an outro in that time. Everything has a sense of urgency about it, the band never dwelling on a riff when the next one’s already ready to go. It’s exciting stuff to be presented with as a listener.
Sonically more straightforward than I Exist, Mental Cavity aim for the gut and hit the target every time. Standout track Vulgar is a harrowing three minutes of audio-evisceration, crust punk vocals and rollicking death metal riffage clashing in a battle that sounds like Carcass and Hellbastard getting involved in some sort of late-night altercation at a motorway service station over the last vegan sausage.
It’s only three minutes in length, but you’ll be absolutely bloody knackered at the end of the song. The band clearly have thrown everything of themselves into this recording, and that sort of commitment pays dividends throughout.
Create, Distort is out n’out crusty death, blackened around the edges and snarlingly frightening into the bargain, whilst closing track Exoneration drops the pace down a little in places (and not for long, don’t get yourself all worked up for no reason) whilst still maintaining the impressive intensity inherent throughout the record. The doomy mid-section of the song is as excellent as it’s surprising, and sums up the the versatility this band employ as an ace card whenever the regulation sturm und drang gets a bit grating.
As ever in 2017 there’s not a lot of originality here, but that’s not really the point. The band create an ambience that’s all their own, working within a relatively rigid set of reference points with exhilarating fleet footedness and a surprising lightness of sledgehammer touch. Highly recommended!
Aneurysm is out now on EVP Recordings.