The black metal band Cavus released their debut EP in the beginning of '09, and, after some delays and a cancelled split release, got their debut album out in the late 2010. If you've heard the band's EP, you already know what to expect; heavy, even brutal and rather filthy black metal with a good emphasis on the pounding bass guitar. This time the soundscape is not as harsh, though.

The tempos vary from in-your-face blasting to slow parts based on simple rhythm arrangements, while the rocking undercurrent keeps the songs in motion. In addition to the strong rhythms, the songs rely on the variation between the array of (more or less) simplistic and repetitive riffs in each tune, the changes between the rocking blasts and doominess, as well as the overall dirty atmosphere. This atmosphere is created in cooperation between the muddy bass guitar, the vocalist's versatile slimy growls, and the sharper lead guitar. The songs are pretty simple composition-wise, but the fleshy and personal soundscape, the vocalist's devoted voice, and the really energetic drumming kick the songs forward a few notches, and keep them interesting. The drums do deserve some extra credit, since they emphasize the songs' strongest rhythms really well, and keep the less vivid moments in motion as well.

As said, this is the band's debut full-lenght, so it's only natural that everything isn't actually top notch. The clearest problem lies in the songs being too restrained; it is as if the band wanted to play the songs just a bit too safe to keep from straying away from their main focus, which made them lose their edge. The rocking parts are good, but often don't really lift off, and the same goes for the harshest and the most brutal parts. One more thing is the fact how clearly separable these are from each other; the songs switch between their styles, but don't really know how to operate naturally in between them, or how to switch more smoothly from heavy doominess to faster blasting. These changes are way too predictable as of now, and thus sadly end up making the songs sound quite a bit safer than they would with some bolder twists. As the different styles and parts are pretty easily separable, the compositions start to sound a bit stiff and clumsy when you've listened to 'em for a few spins.

Aside of the compositional stiffness, there isn't actually that much to complain about. It's just such a fundamental lack that it damages the whole album by quickly eating away its freshness and surprising qualities. It's a shame that the guitars weren't employed to their full extent, as especially the lead guitar could've used some extra grain and razor-edge to its sound to really impact and cause some damage. The sharper leads, more melancholic melodies in the two last tunes, and other spices could've been imbued to the songs in a more fitting way; now they stand out when they're present, and thus scatter the album's whole further in addition to spicing it up.

"Fester and Putrefy" is a strong opener for the band's future and presents the core elements of their style, and although it presents good and strong tunes and a pleasantly dirty atmosphere, it also shows that the band wasn't yet ready to really let go and unleash all that they've got. They've now built the foundations for their style, and the next time they can safely go for the kill.

7 / 10