Caveat - Red

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Cyclone Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:08:00

Man does not live by bread alone. Or, more specifically in my case, a proghead cannot live on symphonic progressive rock alone. Occasionally I must take a look and give a listen to other styles of rock music, and sometimes something pretty extreme will capture my interest. The object of my fascination today, gentle reader, is an outfit from the great white north (Calgary, Canada in fact) that calls themselves Caveat. Caveat, you may recall, is an admonition, a warning, a caution, and if anything that you might hear deserves a warning, then it is Red, the latest disc from Caveat.

This disc was pitched to me as being progressive metal and I guess I'll go for that description. You can call it progressive hardcore, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, ? I don't care. Just call it good music. This stuff is usually 120, 150 beats per minute or more, with machine gun double bass pounding out a merciless tempo, singing that ranges from pissed off ranting to full on death vox and unrelenting riffing that will kick the listener in the gut over and over again, yet there are loads of very cleverly crafted musical details going on all the time in every song and that is where Caveat climbs up above the masses and sails right past the clich?s and limitations of most of the metal you hear. And I like it.

Clever, dare I say intelligent, well written and well played kick ass metal that doesn't annoy the hell out of me! Who knew?

Caveat reminds me of kind of a cross between System Of A Down, Opeth and old Voivod with occasional moments that may call Alice In Chains to mind, but always with an energy and a level of musicianship that leaves everyone else in the dust. Oh yeah ? and they do it with a fury that keeps reminding me of the first time I ever heard Black Flag or Megadeth or Rage Against The Machine. The label, Cyclone Records, has issued this disc in a red jewel case to keep the albums concept firmly in the listeners face, and what a disc it is.

This album begins with its title track "Red." Drummer Casey Rogers sets the pace for the whole album here. Caveat tunes are either kinda fast or very fast. The vocals on this one will peel the paint off the wall.

We continue in a suitable manner with "Sin," which has an intro like something from Opeth's Damnation. This is where you begin to notice that this music has a great deal more weight and melodic development than yer standard metalhead fare. But wait?..

The third track is "M.O.B." I'm really starting to notice how good the drum mix is, how effective the vocal arrangements are, how crushing the guitar tracks sound. Sounds just a bit like Fates Warning.

Then there is "Vindication," with its relentless drive carrying it through constant changes of time and tempo, this is truly "progressive" metal. As if the disc hadn't been impressive enough by this time, check out the wicked counterpoint that ensues between guitarists Greg Musgrave and Joe Sikorski in the tunes instrumental section.

"Vicious Circle" lives up to its title, building up an increasing tension with a blitzkrieg of guitars until its explosive finale. "My Messiah" boasts some of the most tortured vocals ever heard and "Within This Weakness" wraps things up properly with an awesome display of chugging riffmaster guitar work and some of drummer Casey Rogers' most impressive playing. Denying any weakness, Caveat's lead guitarist Joe Sikorski's licks here will rip you a new one, and ..... don't bail out at the end of this track or you'll miss out on the in studio kegger that brings Red to a close.

Not having heard Caveat's prior studio output, it's hard to chart this bands trajectory with absolute authority but it does seem clear that Caveat has the potential to breathe real life into an often hackneyed genre. Caveat IS what most of their brethren can only pretend to be.

Without question, Red is a must have disc. Get it.

Red (4:59) / Sin (6:23) / M.O.B. (4:43) / Vindication (10:13) / Vicious Circle (5:34) / My Messiah (7:32) / Within This Weakness (13:40)

Greg Musgrave - vocals, guitars
Joe Sikorski - lead and acoustic guitars, keyboards
Terry Baldwin - bass, vocals
Casey Rogers - drums, keyboards

The Biggest Secret (2004)
Caveat (ep) (2005)
Red (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin CA

Added: January 28th 2009
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Hits: 3128
Language: english


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