The Virus is a scourge to the senses as potent and inescapable as the equivalent physical protagonist is to the flesh, but a fierce ravishing easy to develop a rabid appetite for. The album is the new incitement from US metallers Caustic Method, a fury of raw and contagious animosity that stirs up the blood and puts a fire in the belly. Though the band has been devouring audiences and fans since 2003, the new release is, like for so many, our introduction to the Syracuse roar, and no finer a way to get infected can you imagine.
Caustic Method has earned a rich reputation for their sound and live performances since forming, sharing stages with everyone from Hatebreed to Cypress Hill, American Head Charge to Otep, Hed P.E. to Korn and hordes more from all diversities of metal and voracious rock ‘n’ roll. Last year The Virus EP sparked thick attention and feisty anticipation for the band’s new album, its success a step towards the band signing with Pavement Entertainment for its successor’s release.
The album launches itself on ears and senses with an instant wall of sound and the vocal roar, the song’s title Virus, the first word expelled by the throat of Matt Caustic. Right there the infection has taken hold; that initial concussive touch the opening toxin in a tide of predatory rhythms and hellacious riffs driven by a sandstorm of a vocal delivery. The track is never an out and out savaging though, Darin Scott’s grooves and hooks given space to wind their temptation around the imagination, backed similarly by the dark throaty tones of Eric Maliszewski’s bass. The Caustic Method sound brings up thoughts of bands like Hatebreed, Bloodsimple, and Mushroomhead across song and release but ultimately there is a freshness and originality which offers a distinct proposal from the NY quartet.
The opener is also the band’s current single with an outstanding video to match its presence and an explosive start to The Virus quickly reinforced by the following Left to Die Alone. This too is a blaster to the senses set on the highest setting, riffs and beats stalking the listener as vocals rummage in the psyche with Caustic’s ever gravelly persuasion. The rhythmic jabs of drummer Angel Rivera are a deceptive lure, initially seemingly merciful whilst still resonating on bone before the man’s stick swings get more creatively agitated and venomous. The song even with a slightly mellower embrace midway continues to hunt down the passions before making way for the similarly ravenous tempting of The Lone Star Tragedy. The song is a more straight forward but enjoyable offering at first, holding back its imagination until it is well entrenched in ears. Clean vocals and spicy grooves soon break free, though are soon swamped by the hostility that set things off and the track ends as it began, snarling relentlessly.
Integrity Fail continues the bruising next, but with a bluesy melodic seducing which spices up its hooks. Aligned to a less intensive energy and atmosphere, it ensures the track is a juggernaut with the hand brake on in attack but a heavyweight persuasion that prowls and lingers as more variety is shown within The Virus, and in turn S.D.V. straight after. The track unleashes its dirtiest heavy rock ‘n’ roll traits to collude with a metal ferocity, a mix of vocal delivery as enticing as the blend of flavours stirred into the tempest of sound.
Through the groove infested Six Feet and the rhythmically compelling Which Way the River Runs, the contagion grips even tighter. The first is a storm of again vocal diversity and tenacious guitar bait, a feverish turbulence of attitude and creative energy which is something akin to Drowning Pool meets Blunt Force Trauma, and another pinnacle of the album. The second of the two avails ears of its fearsome potency through an opening assault of beats from Rivera which sparks a torrential virulence of hungry riffs and cantankerous grooves, the bestial bass of Maliszewski offering the most magnetic one of all. Both tracks kick the album back to the impressive levels it began on, though to be fair the previous couple of songs or so were hardly lightweight in arousing pleasure and emotions either.
Fool Me Once finds yet another gear in the toxicity of the release, it’s addictively malicious and insatiable onslaught an evolving ravaging as able to stroll invitingly with spite in its eyes as it is in uncaging a tirade of raw intensity. It is another landmark in the album, a mix of Static X and Agnostic Front which is not emulated but strongly backed by the melody rich, blues grooved rocker Bottle of Scotch. At times there is a little surface similarity across the album which certainly does it no harm at all such the enterprise and invention within, but it is great to have something additionally unique from the first breath, and the penultimate track is nicely that.
The album injects its last dose of pathogen through Anti Hero, a final slab of metal and emotional vehemence to set ears and thoughts ablaze with a spiralling of inflamed grooves, caustic riffs, and a bass seducing which borders on the carnal. It is a tremendous end to an excellent release and though Caustic Method is not going to turn the metal world on its head with The Virus, they will and certainly are earning a new and broader enamoured spotlight on their presence as the album’s qualities live up to their biological namesake.
The Virus is available now via Pavement Entertainment @ http://www.pavementmusic.com/product/caustic-method-the-virus-pre-order/