II, the new EP from Seattle doom-ish trio deathCAVE, takes the soaring highs of post-metal and combines them with the bleak lows of sludge, and wraps them in a blackened outer layer. Formed by bassist Michael Freiburger (Throne of Bone) and guitarist Tony Muñoz (Worship) with drummer Benny Koslosky (Swampheavy), deathCAVE take a transcendental approach to heavy music.
While dealing with the fallout from the end of a long-term relationship coupled with the very normal events of early 2021, Freiburger retreated to the wilderness, where he took a self-described hero’s dose of psychedelics. The ensuing visuals led to the EP’s centerpiece, “Birch Trees Are Bones.”
“Birch Trees Are Bones” is equal parts cathartic and epic. The searing black metal sections of the song are abrasive and rough around the edges but they flow seamlessly into the Neurosian doom deathCAVE build their sound around. Eventually the two pieces mesh together as one song, molding into a complete whole as opposed to different sides of band’s sound.
The B-side to “Birch Trees Are Bones” is a cover of Black Sabbath’s “The Writ,” the closing track of the band’s sixth album, Sabotage. The two songs presented on II are potent and effective, offering a refreshing and honest take on doom. II is out April 22 on Satanik Royalty Records but you can (digitally) spin it below.