Have you ever woken up, walked into your bathroom, turned on the shower and at first the water is hot, but then it quickly turns into a thick goop that completely overwhelms you? No? Never? Well you will know exactly what that feels like when you listen to RABIES CASTE. A monumental Sludge force that, while seemingly comforting, quickly and utterly overwhelms you.
RABIES CASTE has been around for a good amount of time (eleven years to be exact) and has remained underground the whole time, as the first time yours truly got the chance to listen to them, it turns out that RABIES CASTE’s self titled album is also their last. Yes that’s right; this album is the swansong for the band, and what a sweet song it is. The album itself consists of three new tracks (“Timeless”, “Mind Eruption”, and “Unmanning Your Planet”), two live tracks (“Too Much Is Never Enough”, “Golden Female Ring”) and two unreleased tracks (“Goddamn”, “How Low Can I Get”).
The music here is pure Sludge/Doom, meaning that it alternates between slow and chunky and DAMN SLOW and groove based: I dig it. A standout track would be the fantastic “Unmanning Your Planet” which is just SO DAMN HEAVY, alternating between hypnotic riffs and World Devouring distortion, this song is just a headbanging romp through the sick and twisted vision of RABIES CASTE. The second of the standout tracks would be the creepy as all hell “How Low Can I Get”, with its super bizarre and disturbing movie clip (more on that in a minute) and just droning, plodding guitars and fuzzed out, drugged out distortion. Good stuff indeed.
So, why the (to some of you) lower score? It sounds like I only have praises for the album. The reason is the movie samples, some of them are ridiculously LONG, case in point “Too Much Is Never Enough” the clip is over two minutes long, which for an eight minute song that’s not too bad but it’s just annoying, especially that this track is supposed to be live. It may not bother some of you, but movie clips just bug me, and they never seem to be used right.
But it’s not like that ruins the album, because it doesn’t. “Rabies Caste” is still a great album that has a good share of high points. The only shame is that I’ve found about this band way too late. It’s not ROANOKE or CROWBAR but this RABIES CASTE release is a good buy for the Sludge fan in all of you, and believe me there is a Sludge fan in all of you.
(Online March 21, 2007)