Caverns has been a very exciting band in the DC area for the last couple years. I recall first listening to "Remasculator" on my computer with its heavy metal shredding and drumming and an oddball piano lurking around the chords. I hunted down all open computer programs thinking I had two audio feeds going at once, until I finally "got it". They basically combine a few distinct ideas in a very heavy sound and create instrumental magic. Caverns is still the same three guys on guitar, drums and piano, but they have a few tricks for this four song ep. Since there are only four songs, let's cover them one by one.
The very name of the first cut, "Arctic Phantoms", conjures up thoughts of progressive rock and that is sort of what we have with this six minute opener. There is some electronica and some very steady movements that have a little of the majestical progressive feel. This kind of song writing helps deliver instrumental music in large doses(no vocals in any of the last eps).
"Surprise!" has a quiet opening and moves into heavyland quite easily with a lot of their signature moves and some King Crimson like dissonance. Not so much dissonance as odd jazz-rock moves that may sound odd at first, but work extremely well.
"I. Fight. Vampires" has the coolest melody lead by the piano over the steady drums and counterpoint guitar. Great piano work and some electronics. Is that a vocal line distorted in there? Well, it still sounds instrumental enough. This is a strong song that crosses a lot of genres. Very heavy rocking moves, delicate pop sense, kind of a swaying dance feel. Strong song.
"December 21, 2012" sounds like it could be on their previous excellent ep, "Kittens". It is the heavies piece with that wonderful piano working it's magic snaking in between the guitar and drums. I look forward to more great things from this band.