This is the second album from US extreme metallers Cave Bastard.
2018’s The Bleak Shall Devour the Earth was a record I enjoyed, so I was keen to catch up with what the band were offering in 2021.
Cave Bastard’s music can roughly be termed as a hybrid form of death metal that contains elements of sludge, hardcore, black metal, progressive metal, and doom. This new album is more coherent than its predecessor, so blackened progressive death metal might be a rough, yet decent descriptor.
The songs mix their multiple influences well, resulting in multifaceted tracks. Sometimes the emphasis might be on blackened aggression, while at others the more brutal side of death metal might be brought to the fore. The progressive elements have been increased on Wrath of the Bastard, adding extra depth to many sections. Also improved are the band’s atmospheric forays; these are well-formed, immersive, and in conjunction with the progressive aspects of the music inform the songs to a greater degree than previously.
Wrath of the Bastard showcases the band’s development in a very positive light. These songs are well-crafted and have plenty of ideas that are well-realised. Across 40 minutes Cave Bastard take the listener on an extreme metal journey, showing them soundscapes of gripping atmosphere and scathing harshness. It’s a journey worth taking, and Wrath of the Bastard rewards those taking the time to explore it.