From Roving About the Earth

Caged

Can Old School Death Metal allow the use of effects and turnables? Caged's answer is yes!
November 18, 2023

To be innovative is not a sin in music, besides some fans prefer to stay on the ‘confortable zones’ where everything sounds in a known and defined way. But if one pay close attention to interviews and biographies of old bands and musicians, it’s a common sense that if they weren’t creative on the past, their chance of reaching success would be zero (it’s what one can check on material of names as VENOM, BLACK SABBATH and many others). And from time to time some surprises appear in the middle of the daily flood of releases, as “From Roving About the Earth”, the first album of the North American quintet CAGED. The main genre used by the quintet is a form of Doom Death Metal linked to what the genre was near its conception, when PARADISE LOST destroyed ears with “Lost Paradise”, ANATHEMA frightened Death Metal fans with “Serenades” and MY DYING BRIDE caused nightmares with “As the Flower Withers”.

But there are some different elements on their work: some can feel the North American groove pulsing on some moments, as the presence of effects that belongs to tendencies as Funk Metal and Rapcore as Turntables. It’s a different experience, indeed, but for fans used to slower tempos with funereal ambiences and oppressive instrumental sheath pierced by grunts, such tempers will only improve the value of the band’s work. The mixing and mastering of the album were done by James Plotkin (a known sound engineer that previously worked with acts as SAINT VITUS, THE OBSESSED, CELESTIAL SEASON, VOIVOD, and many others), and the idea was to have a putrid and raw sonority that could resemble the past, but that bears definition for the fans to hear and understand what’s being expressed by the band as well. It’s a good work, indeed.

There are five long songs on the album, all of them showing that the quintet still has potential to be transformed into music. But as stated by “Isaac in Rope” (a fine and brutal song filled with some bits of groove and effects, creating a chaotic ambience), “Held Still Under Running Water” (a funereal Doom Death Metal song, brutal and based on slow tempos, with a solid work of bass guitar and drums on the tempos, with effects giving a different flavor to the oppressive rhythmic lines), and “How Wings are Attached to the Backs of Angels” (where the guitars are creating nasty and oppressive riffs and arrangements, as the vocals are spewing forth grunts) are the right ones to check this aspect and for a first visit in their work as well.

As a first album, “From Roving About the Earth” passes the test and shows that CAGED is a band with potential. But their work can be easily enjoyed by now as well.

8 / 10

Excellent

Songwritting

7

Musicianship

8

Memorability

8

Production

7
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"From Roving About the Earth" Track-listing:
  1. Isaac in Rope
  2. Held Still Under Running Water
  3. The Messiah Draws Near
  4. How Wings are Attached to the Backs of Angels
  5. A Stump in Eden
Caged Lineup:

John Jones - Vocals
Ryan Manley - Guitars
Joe Hughes - No-Input Mixer, Turntables
Tyler Butler - Bass
Tim Cutler - Drums

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