Sep 9, 2012
Karcavul - "Rawctaver" ...
If you like to explore or you have never enough of the most extreme, filthiest and darkest distortions of doom-sludge, if you don’t know it already, well, there is another band well worth “experiencing”, Karcavul.
I wrote “experiencing” because the music this trio from Lyon, France, likes to make is going to literally crush your veins and muscles and lungs and everything like a steamroller. The band is quite mysterious, the members being known only by initials: C. on vocals, J. On guitars and V. on drums. “Bipolar Sludge/Doom” or “Necro Doom Extreme” are the short formulas giving a fairly good hint about the sick and bleak features of Karcavul’s style, which basically consists of a raw, toxic blackened sludge/doom metal periodically undergoing insanely brutal accelerations typical of black and death metal.
But definitions can’t replace the devastating experience of having your brain invaded by Karcavul’s rotten and suffocatingly heavy sound. Karcavul are for you if you appreciate bands like Meth Drinker, Bruja, Hell, Backward Zombies, as well as Moloch, Grime, Cult of Occult, Blood Red Water, Black Temple Below, etc.
If you don’t, well, you better stay away from these wicked Frenchmen …
Karcavul are unsigned and, well, rather proud of their DIY philosophy typical of the deep underground black metal and crust punk scene which they come from and belong to. In this view they share their music as free digital download on Bandcamp, but for those who appreciate their insanity they have “solid” music as tape or CD in a really cool, handmade limited edition package (which I immediately got hold of). Karcavul’s music and atmospheres are adequate for a nightmare and detached from any specific time, although while hearing their music one may imagine terrible pestilences and or war-related bloodshed's. But the band may just like to depict natural, inner mental and physical decay in the most pitiless way as possible. Karcavul’s detachment from time may somehow come out also in the weird dates the band used for tagging their outputs, i.e. “13 May 1968” for their 2012 demo Rawctaver, that basically invaded the web during June 2012, and “31 October 2037” for the +14 minutes-long suite “Satanvermoinlinfini”. The latter is streamed on Bandcamp and waiting for another gloomy and sick-sounding band for a malignant split.
Demo Rawctaver consists of four slabs of Necro Doom for 27 minutes and a half of horror, disgust and decay.
And disgust is what is going to catch you right at the start of the almost 8 minutes-long, opening track “Varices”, whose very title regarding sick, swollen veins is apt for making you feel uneasy. Varices’ disturbing, putrid intro is an amplified buzzing of flies, crazy over something rottening, and insane or hardly human moaning's. Like being in a battle-field after the massacre! Yuk! As almost natural will then come a series of slow, plodding, way sinister doomy riffs leaving scars on your skin and coupled with C’s inhuman sludgy roars. Sudden accelerations are going to give way to an incredibly heavy, wicked and chaotic sound possessing rawness, grimness and brutality of primitive black and death metal. In spite of all this, Karcavul’s sound in general possesses a remarkable load of dirty swampy groove in the spirit of Eyehategod. Halfway through the track a sort of macabre, hypnotic lullaby marks a temporary and far too short time span of calm before an actual typhoon made of unbearably heavy, distorted riffs and a hammering drumming will kill you like a machine-gun.
War Metal comes back again with and will dominate the impressive and aggressive 7.30 minutes-long track “Culacl Rnael”. Riffs are so downtuned and strained that they growl like C’s terrific vocals. Or I should say the other way round, as C’s singing style is among the most gut-tearing and least human I’ve personally heard, as in Meth Drinker, Bruja, Backward Zombies, Hell, Reclusa, Zebadiah Crowe and bands alike. Again aural devastation comes in waves where the doomy-sludgy riffs and violent drum blasts undergo frenzied black-death metal accelerations and suffocating slow-downs until, again, an unusual, cheating calm arrives halfway through the track. From there on, single doomy guitar notes are made vibrating in the silence for about two painful minutes together with some ghostly whispers until an acceleration makes your heart beat again too fast.
The conclusion of the “calvaire” is left to the fourth, 6.42 minutes-long track “Sépir”, where the band changes something in the sound. Cemeterial /funereal atmospheres are conveyed by the slow and now remarkably dissonant rhythm in the intro. The outbursts of noise by dissonant riffs plus deafening drumming make up a twisted kind of sound wall slightly winking into a sort of blackened post metal reminding me a bit of Alkerdeel. This track is the most “quiet”, or let’s call it more “introspective” in this otherwise extremely brutal and horror-filled début. This track is the most “quiet”, or let’s call it more “introspective” in this otherwise extremely brutal and horror-filled début demo.
Rawctaver is just a demo but style-wise it is tight and accomplished and clearly show the explosive potential of this French band. They love and efficiently generate extreme heaviness, filth and rawness in their sound which is anything but simplistic, as shown by the masterful technics behind the dynamic brutal attacks. Karcavul ingested Sabbathian and funeral doom, swampy sludge and primitive, raw, old-school black and death metal and spat out, or vomited, a putrid gem.
Get hold of the gem …
Words: Marilena Moroni