WORDS: James Weaver
Drawing influence from the likes of CHIMAIRA, MACHINE HEAD and AS I LAY DYING, Scotland’s EXCELLENT CADAVER are the latest emerging band in modern metal. Three years on since the release of the band’s debut album, Faith Destroyed, the band are back with their next musical chapter in the form of a self titled EP. Does this new offering from the Scots continue to build momentum?
Upon first listening of EXCELLENT CADAVER, the influences are strong. The band pride themselves on their influences and it shows throughout. Opening track Dead Dreams kicks the EP into life with slick riffs, consistent blasts from the drums and a lovely exchange of growls and clean vocals before unleashing one of the standout moments on the EP; vicious yet melodic solo work. It resembles the sound of modern metal’s strongest exports; the groove of CHIMAIRA, the rough vocal performances of PANTERA and drumming that replicates the ferocity of MACHINE HEAD.
Yet whilst this EP boasts influences like no tomorrow, make no mistake, this is not a worship record. There is enough unique characteristics that really make EXCELLENT CADAVER leap apart from the pack. Losing Streak‘s relentless drumbeat and powerful backing vocals from Drew Cochrane, Paul Hudson and Sean Ramson help strengthen the effect of Andrew Downie‘s lead vocal performance. It’s a nice touch and the end product is incredibly satisfying with the track delivering punch after punch.
In truth, there isn’t really any negative aspects towards this EP, it boasts such professionalism and power that you’d be surprised this is the band’s second record. Perhaps the only downside is that this is an EP after all and clocking in at 19 minutes, you ache for more slick riffs, more solos and more aggression. From the delicate chorus of Witness to the slick vocal deliveries on Unchained, this is a breathtaking EP. Each member of the band provides a truly professional performance indicating how EXCELLENT CADAVER are truly indeed a well-oiled machine. If the Scots can keep up this level of musical quality, then expect big things indeed. This EP is testament to the fact that the UK metal scene is enjoying it’s longest period of prosperity.
Excellent Cadaver is set for release on October 31st via Ouergh Records.