posted on 11/2006 By:
You ever brushed your teeth then immediately drank a tall glass of OJ? That, my friends, is Rabies Caste. Except, um, you know, in a good kind of way. The virulent sludge that erupted from this now defunct band is a bitter dose of viscous riffing and blankets of noisy dissonance and feedback. And it’s just a little odd. Not necessarily frighteningly heavy, or overtly aggressive, but noticeably experimental and just plain...odd. Unfortunately, this Israeli act called it quits, and this self titled set is the last (although possibly the first) time we’ll get to experience their brand of sludge-rich doom metal. The seven-track album includes a couple newer songs ("Timeless", "Mind Eruption" and "Unmanning Your Planet"), a pair of live tracks ("Too Much is Never Enough", "Golden Female Ring"), and a set of older songs (Goddamn", "How Low Can I Get").
Album opener "Timeless" was originally released on a split with Sourvein, and serves as a powerful opening salvo. The song lumbers slowly with thick, lurching motions, as a hulking wall of guitar is supported by quicker, active rhythms and, buried well beneath it all, insistent, sickened shrieking. It’s a similarly gnarly tactic on “Mind Eruption” and the awesomely titled “Unmanning Your Planet”, except that as the album wears on, you become more tuned in to what’s going on beneath the elephantine sludge. The impressive drumming becomes pleasingly fill-happy, the band shifts intermittently into an agile gait, and the guitar lines deviate from their mountainous, low end rumbling into forays of dissonant chords and whining feedback. Tracks often open with samples from horror films, which seem both fitting and incongruent with Rabies Caste’s persona. The ass-end of the album brings about some interesting changes. The live “Golden Female Ring” is an uptempo drum and bass heavy number that has tribal post-punk rhythms and high registered vocals that give the song a feel not unlike something from the first Jane’s Addiction album (admittedly, in part because it’s also quasi-live). “Goddamn” is another quicker track that uses fuzzy circular riffs and distorted vocals that are less eruptive and more spoken and sung. Closing the set is the chaotic “How Low Can I Get”, which opens with a bang and quickly descends to a throbbing mass of squealing feedback. The album’s mix of new, old, and live material gives a good flavor of what this band had to offer, and should provide sludge fans either a much appreciated final gift, or a notice that they overlooked this band in error.
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