Who’s gonna celebrate your birthday when you’re dead? Departed sludge-metal kings Cavity have Hydra Head to trot out the posthumous noisemakers and arm punches.
The label’s had a boner for Cavity for years, reissuing the Supercollider LP (1999) and signing the band for their final album, On the Lam (2001). And now, five years after Cavity packed it in, Hydra Head celebrates the tenth anniversary of the band’s Laid Insignificant EP, originally released on metal artist Pushead’s label, Bacteria Sour. Party favors include a couple of bonus tracks from the original recording sessions and new artwork from Hydra Head honcho/Isis frontman, Aaron Turner, but them’s just icing on the birthday cake. The real treat here is the bucket o’ sludge of the original Laid Insignificant, remastered for maximum viscosity.
With their oft-plodding tempos and eternally downcast mood, Cavity aren’t the first band you’d expect to hail from Miami, land of Gloria Estefan and thousands of dancing Cuban ex-pats. Laid Insignificant isn’t without its traces of South Florida’s enervating climate, though, as “The Woods” and “I May Go” drag trails of Sabbath doom as humid as a tropical summer. Short, speedy cuts “Marginal Man” and “Spine II” shoot hardcore adrenaline into the album, every bit as violent as the depressive sludge that surrounds them.
The variety of grimness on Laid Insignificant makes it a less caustic (or at least more enjoyably caustic) listen than the numbingly downtrodden early records by sludge brothers Eyehategod and Melvins. Cavity’s best songs build tension with creative use of feedback and discordant picking and tempo changes, and always hit payoff when those mammoth doom riffs land. And vocalist Rene Barge possesses a huge range of throat-shredding techniques in his arsenal, adding to the band’s dynamic attack. So while Laid Insignificant’s brevity qualifies it as an EP, it’s got the breadth of a full album. Cavity’s long gone, but the Laid Insignificant reissue does a nice job of filling the hole.