Cadaverous Condition - Burn Brighty Alone

13 songs
51:20 minutes
***** **


It may be true that it is nowadays rather hard to produce something entirely innovative in the death metal genre, but some bands still deserve some special attention. As in the case of Cadaverous Condition, an Austrian band that has been around for over twenty years. In the beginning they apparently played some kind of gore grind, but later invented their own kind of death folk music. This may sound like just another rip-off of various Scandinavian bands, but when Cadaverous Condition are speaking of folk, they don’t mean sweet fiddle-and-flute melodies, but rather something rooted deeply in protest music.

Another thing that sets Cadaverous Cadaver apart from the majority of genre bands is their choice of cover versions they have recorded over the years. In the past they tried their hands on bands like Sisters Of Mercy, Grauzone, Bonnie Prince Billy and the Undertones! This time we get a weird interpretation of the Decemberists’ We Both Go Down Together. This is one of their folk songs where the music is anything but metal, except the vocals remain true to their death growls. In this way, the band merrily switches between old-school mid-tempo groove death and their own, quite idiosyncratic death folk concoction. They also hired some truly illustrious guests, like vocalist Mark Breyer of Skooshny and Son Of Skooshny, a musician with a forty year history in music, even if hardly anyone may have noticed. Then there’s the pianist for the much better known The Black Heart Procession, and finally two musicians on electronics and saw who have collaborated with Nurse With Wound in the past. It’s quite a mystery how these Austrian death metal veterans get indie, folk and avant-garde musicians to collaborate on their otherwise not overly technical music.

In the end, we are left with a rather strange product. I definitely laud the band’s vast stylistic approach, but the transitions are rarely smooth. They may play some early Celtic Frost influenced death metal song, to be followed by a piano driven ballad, and even the death metal vocals on the folk songs take some getting used to. But beware: these are accomplished musicians who know exactly what they are doing, and even if I sometimes wish it would sound less incoherent, I am still incredibly awed at the spirit of their borderless attitude. Many, and possibly even most, metalheads have little love left for anything outside their box, so in this regard, Cadaverous Condition are a wonderful exception to the rule. You can stream their album on their Bandcamp page, and I promise you that you will never have heard anything quite like it. And if you like, support the band by buying the album, so that they can continue broadening the horizon of the metal community.

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