Kaivs – Horrend (Independent)Monday, 5th June 2023
It’s always fun to come across a band with a large amount of potential. We used to do this via tape trading in the old days. Now, it’s more scouring Bandcamp/Spotify/etc. to unearth something new. Whatever the method, even scratching the surface can be a task. Rome-based Italian death metal quartet Kaivs is one of those pleasant discoveries that possess a gleam of the future.
Our subject is the band’s sole release – a 3 song EP titled Horrend – that’s a well-executed slab of early 90s death metal. The buzzsaw Swedish HM-2 style is paramount, with thoughts of Dismember, early Entombed, Entrails, Grave, etc. spilling forth throughout the nearly 13 minute run time.
The title track emits an immediate groove with the drum patterns paired with that classic filthy rhythm tone, resulting in a solid, no frills iteration of old school death metal. “Krushing All Altars” contains a nicely constructed opening riff that gets the old head nodding, layered with vocalist Max Foam’s gravely low-pitched growls that remind these ears of Gregor Mackintosh’s superb snarl (especially in his Vallenfyre days). The third and final track “Sepulchrist” is a methodical, slower tempo piece highlighted by drawn out sustained guitars and a tiny smidgeon of death/doom aesthetic. The restraint shown by drummer Leonardo Sastro adds an important tension that brings out a modicum of dynamism.
Horrend is a debut definitely worth a spin to anybody with a leaning towards that early era of Swedish death metal, as this is a proficient example of that tried and true sound. While Kaivs doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel or do anything drastically different, we hope they lean into the mood set on closing track “Sepulchrist,” as that’s where the group begins to pick up steam. Hopefully a full-length album will follow in the near future, and if they expand upon that medium paced crushing aura, this is a band that’ll turn a few heads.