A stunning blackened doom metal album. This is likely the best album of this repective genre to be released in 2017. A journey through the darkened void of life, this album has a palpable sense of personal dread. The doom and dread is pierced by occasional moments of melody. This is a dark and heavy listen. Pain, misery, and suffering in aural form, emphasis on misery. A burdening of negative emotions fill the listener throughout each song.
Favorite track: Lay Your Woes Upon The Ground And Know That The End Will Soon Swallow You.
There lies a dark secret deep inside some of the people you meet throughout your life. An illness, a prevailing shadow, or a past of regretful choices. Despite the facade constructed to hide these truths, there is a malaise that takes hold and controls the underlying intent for that person's actions. This is the Stream of Ache. This is the energy that drives ones actions although its source is a place where nothing nourishes.
Cavernlight was born from this stream, covered in the mire that lies at its bed.
Formed in 2006 by Scott Zuwadzhi (guitar, vocals, noise) and Adam Bartlett (drums, vocals), the project was intended to satisfy a need to write atmospheric dark music about the physical nature of existence. This was meant to be something entirely personal. Over the course of the next nine years Zuwadzhi and Bartlett would include others into the fold of the project to share in their misery, playing a small handful of select shows, and in that time welcome Patrick Crawford (guitar) and Brandon Pleshek (bass, synths) as permanent members, helping to define what Cavernlight was always intended to be.
After the release of their demo tape, Corporeal (Anti-Matter Records, 2015), Cavernlight buckled down to write the material for As We Cup Our Hands..., finally deciding to share their introspection with others. That period of writing would evolve into 5 movements detailing a life that is lived suffering through severe, crippling anxiety and the burden of mental illness. They discuss the arduous task of attempting to find truth in the natural world and work through psychological roadblocks, and the realizations one has as they begin to come out the other side and attempt to heal. The Stream of Ache is the source for these songs.
The influences of Cavernlight are numerous and run deeply into different genres, but ultimately all of them have one thing in common… pain and suffering prevail. Whether they be doom, black metal, noise, dark post-rock or even inspiration from beloved singer-songwriters that have since been put to rest and whose sadness lives on eternally, each source of inspiration deals with a fundamental hurt. On this debut full length Cavernlight have finally found a comfortable, mature balance between their influences, inspiration, and intended narrative. Using these elements they have crafted an album of miserable doom laced with harsh tones and heart-piercing melodies. There is no positive redeeming quality in this album, except that it is complete, and it no longer requires emotional energy.
released June 16, 2017
Adam Bartlett: drums, vocals, lyrics
Patrick Crawford: guitar
Brandon Pleshek: bass, synths, piano
Scott Zuwadzhi: guitar, vocals, synths, noise
With guest appearances specifically chosen to help achieve the dynamic intent of the album, these guests include:
Rachel N. (vocals, from False)
Sarah Green (vocals and cello)
Michael Paparo (vocals, from Inter Arma).
The album was meticulously tracked, mixed, and mastered by Adam Tucker at Signaturetone Recording in Minneapolis, MN. Except Wander, Part II, which was recorded by Dean Hoffman at his studio in Oshkosh, WI. The album was recorded live in the studio with minimal over-dubs.
Photography by Scott Zuwadzhi and Samuel Thomas Claeys.
Track Name: Lay Your Woes Upon The Ground And Know That The End Will Soon Swallow You
A deep breath, a heavy sigh. So quickly fades the light.
Consumed by enduring shadow. So dark, the wooded path at night.
A foe without form, without mass.
No throat to which my hands may tightly grasp.
Truth absolute is found in the shadows.
The winding path that seems endless, barred by terrible obstacles.
Is littered with ways home.
That path comes to an end the second those looming shadows bear the load.
Numerous moments in a life of distress, carried home.
Track Name: Constructing A Spire To Pierce And Poison The Infinite
Into ash and sand, carried by tide to tomb.
Generations casting shadows on ancient works long since undone.
Not one shining star, nor beacon in the endless night.
Any semblance of light cast out, cast down.
Towers constructed on mounds of sand.
Monuments raised on un-truths.
All in ruins.
Track Name: To Wallow In The Filth That Dwells Where Despair Is Born
Immersed in the soil,
Rooting through the sinew of the Earth.
Searching for something true.
Until you can grasp the still beating heart of this world.
Consume each and every last piece.
Become the truth you seek.
Written in the natural world.
Born of reason, born of filth.
Track Name: A Shell Of One's Former Self
An eternal spring of hopeless grief surges.
Floods the surface of my conscious being.
In this barren land it appears the one relief.
Although it's from a place where nothing nourishes.
Haunted by ghosts of lives passed by.
Every tower of hope, crumbling.
Every field of love, withering.
What fruit not spoiled by spite remains?
What love destroyed by undue wrath?
After decades have passed,
By this foul water sustained.
The harm, irreversible.
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