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Released: 2013, Independent
Allow me to present my 2013 EP of the year; hands down, no questions asked, I don’t care what gets released in the remaining months of the year. Cascus is a band out of Oklahoma with close ties to progressive stalwarts Vangough (bassist/vocalist Jeren Martin plays in both bands). However, where Vangough’s music is ethereal & progressive, Cascus is all death metal, all the time.
In fact, on my first listen I was impressed with how huge CASCUS sounds. The production perfectly captures the epic nature of the music and allows the band’s musicality and brutality to shine through. The four cuts on the EP are long and progressive, but they give away nothing in the savagery department. Opeth is an obvious touch point, but only the early years – there is nothing acoustic or hard rock going on here; this is pure death metal. Few bands are able to pull off progressive death metal well but the few that do (The Chasm) are incredible. Allow me to proclaim that Cascus belongs in that group. From the opening onslaught of “Revelation” through the closing of “Nexus”, this trio (!) are as unrelenting as they are inventive, easily matching twisting song structures with crushing riffs and ferocious vocals.
The best thing I can say about this release is that I’ve blasted the hell out of my ears with it since I got it, and I’m nowhere near tired of it yet. It’s not quite perfect (a couple of songs could use a slight trim), but it’s incredibly close. I’m blown away by Cascus and fully expect that they will rise to the top of the death metal heap in the future.
Jay Gleason: Vocals, Guitar, Drums
Jeren Martin: Vocals, Bass
Cameron Conyer: Vocals, Guitar
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