Firstly I must start by saying that I hate Bear Grylls; from his smug middle class face, his assumed childhood name, to his survival programmes packed with fake peril. He's a poor man’s Ray Mears and no mistake. But anyway, on with the review………
Some people evidently don't like to trumpet, alerting the world to their achievements. Hiding their light under a bushel they go about their musical endeavours in a way that slides under the radar.
This is what I thought when I was asked if I could review this album. As the bassist in TaoBG is The Circle Pits very own T-Dog the Tree Frog. So, my thoughts continued, I'll say some nice things, do him a favour, as he's been such a stalwart publicist of new music; it's only fair.
But as I listened to Cavernous Isolation, a single thought began to form in my head: Fuck Favours, This is Brilliant!!
What Bear Grylls have produced here is a deft mingling of Blackened Thrash and Deathcore. It pulls no punches and cortorises the senses with musicianship of unremitting viciousness. Infused from beginning to end by an unabashed love of metal, these Pennsylvania lads use every technique and tactic in their extensive playbook to exert control over the listener.
Sometimes sounding like Immortal and Megadeth barbecuing steaks over a fire fuelled by the broken bodies of Aenimus, there is scarcely a second in the entire 20 minutes of this Ep for you to catch your breath. Constantly engaging, exciting riffs spiral around savage drumming; which is just as capable of tearing a rift in the space/time continuum, as it is crushing your bones to dust during the breakdowns.
The vocals have a nuanced sense of variety, applying what feels like exactly the right style for each shift in the music. From HC roars, through growls and brees, all the way to the angular rasp that is the very essence of black metal, the vocals are a constant delight. They are absorbing and scary, brutally executed with a venom that suggests that singer Liam has genuine personality issues. For me, one of the most essential requirements in a frontman.
They shift pace from light-speed to dirge-down and back again with prescient power, but with a sense of ownership that makes every one of these tempo changes motivational and compulsory. I attribute this to the considerable level of songcraft on display. They may not be Neil Diamond (I mean who apart from Neil Diamond, is!) but TAoBG know precisely what they want to achieve from each song and by sticking to their scripts, achieve it with gusto.
This is a record for head banging and slamming to. For throwing yourself around, regardless of age, for getting bruised and superficially bloody to; for rejuvenating yourself at the bar and then diving headlong back into the celebratory melee; to open up cuts and bleed over new friends, only to emerge at the finish devoid of teeth but happy and content. In fact, caution is to be advised when listening to this on the move, as you might find yourself trying to start a circle pit on the bus.
So Cavernous Isolation is available to download on a 'name your price' basis from bandcamp. I highly recommend that you avail yourself of this tremendous opportunity. It is both shit-loads of fun and judiciously brutal. Don't delay listen today!
Its so enjoyable, It has actually made me hate Bear Grylls slightly less; the feckless, houseboat living, chinless wonder.
– John Whitmore