MUS274 RAT CAGE – Savage Visions LP
Yorkshire’s most Honorable Master of Mangel brings to bear upon us the sophomore RAT CAGE full-length, an anxiety-compounding white-knuckle ride through the nauseating experience commonly known as trying to get by. On SAVAGE VISIONS, listeners are exposed to the maniacal cries of the critically-minded individual pushed to the absolute brink, copping rapid fire tidings of woe belted out by an unhinged unit who has finally ceased to give a fuck. Here we find Bryan of Sheffield, defiant and desperate on what is by far the most sinister, claustrophobic, reckless and dynamic release in the RAT CAGE catalogue to date. Though it may be full of huge sing-along-moments and loaded with surprises, SAVAGE VISIONS is no party, because there’s nothing to celebrate. The boisterous resilience and boozy joy of previous works has vanished. With the rule book shattering the window of the ’82nd floor, SAVAGE VISIONS lashes out at times towards the not-too-distant sounds of VENOM, MIDNIGHT and later DARKTHRONE, expertly folding these riff expressions back in to the irresistibly dysfunctional bop of GBH and CRUCIFIX.
Anyone who chucks this thing on is going to feel like the passenger in a car crash waiting to happen. Razor’s edge lead breaks serve only to increase the tension. Our driver careens wildly across both sides of the highway, regularly steering us toward the familiar influences of SKITKIDS, THE PARTISANS, DISARM, THE VARUKERS, TOTALITÄR and AUKTION before quickly engaging the hand-brake once again to speed off at 90 degrees in the direction of the unfinished overpass at the edge of town.
Due to the up-scaled take on Swedish HC and the (now boosted) thump of the kick drum and bass guitar on SAVAGE VISIONS, this record feels like DISFEAR’s Live The Storm played significantly faster. Minimal respect is afforded to genre convention. The way it should be – every band, every time.
You may very well survive the maze, but what will you become by the time you reach its exit?
– Nathan Burns