Caust is a five piece hardcore / screamo band from Northern Virginia whose chaotic and frantic sound draws influences from the many stylistic divisions of hardcore punk whose EP, ‘Page Turner’ was released last year. Mass Graves is the band’s second EP.
Stylistically Caust doesn’t venture much outside of the framework of hardcore punk but within that genre they reach out to quite a few variations, most notably the intense and cathartic style of early screamo and power-violence taking influence from bands like Orchid and Pg. 99. In every aspect from the instrumentation, to the noisy production, and the aggressive dueling vocals ‘Mass Graves’ is a very intense listen. Although intensity is a focus within the music that Caust makes they know when to take things slow letting brooding oppressive chords ring out usually coupled with throat blistering screams and howls. Although balancing between fast power-violence and slow dirgy riffs there are also moments of melody and more emotive sections as well, most prominently heard on the song ‘For Myself’. These slower sections give enough breathing room between the chaotic movements providing a nice amount of balance. I particularly like the vocals which range from strained howls to a deeper caveman-esque shout.
Mass Graves doesn’t really offer too much in terms of pushing any of the boundaries within this genre but it is substantially more well-rounded and expressive than their previous EP, ‘Page Turner’ so if you’re looking for something fast and well executed this is a pretty solid effort regardless.
Overall Rating: 6.1
Favorite Track: ‘I Am Howard Beale’, ‘For Myself’, ‘Book Burner’
Recommended: Solomon Solomon, Studying, The Pessimist Hangs The Optimist
Released: 14 July 2012