Cavity / Midmourner – Split EP

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Cavity / Midmourner

Cavity / Midmourner

Split EP - Valley King Records

Valley King Records from the San Francisco Bay Area in California was founded in 2010 by Secret Serpents founders Alan Forbes and Justin McNeal. Artist Alan Forbes sets up tour poster series for bands (Faith No More, The Melvins, Mudhoney, Swans) through Secret Serpents. Justin McNeal started the record label as an offshoot. Valley King Records started as a 7” only ‘boutique’ label, limiting each release to a one-time only pressing of 500 copies with silkscreened deluxe packaging. Since the start of the label, Valley King Records has expanded to release 12” LP picture discs, all with artwork by Alan Forbes. Cavity’s bio reads as follows: ‘Cavity is a sludge metal band from Miami, Florida. They first formed in 1992, releasing a multitude of albums and singles before breaking up in 2003. Steve Brooks and Juan Montoya would go on to play in Torche and Floor. Anthony Vialon, Henry Wilson and Beatriz Monteavaro also played in Floor. Jason Landrian went on to form Black Cobra.’

I can tell you as a former longtime musician in South Florida that Cavity was beloved and respected in their day. The musicians in the band were looked upon in the highest regards. Their concerts were hypnotic, hardcore, chaotic and introspective experiences that I didn’t always remember too clearly. Kids on various drugs and alcohol were joined by straight edge kids in equal enjoyment. Cavity was a hardcore band that as much defied the sludge metal category as it helped usher it in. Juan Montoya has become a revered Miami-Dade County superstar with his own unique style of guitar work. This split 12″ EP with Midmourner represents the last release of new music by Cavity.

Cavity only need one track to take up nearly fourteen minutes of vinyl grooves: Primitive Angel. No vocals are necessary to convey this auditory message of the coming end. The track is classic Cavity: epic, moody, soulful and a little scary. It begins with a brooding bass line that immediately lets you know what you’re in for. It builds up with all the instruments joining in before a break where what sounds like an organ or keys coming in to join the haunt. But knowing Cavity, it is probably guitar being played in a way mere mortals can’t understand. 


Everything crashes back in. It never speeds up, it never has to. This is a trip down a dusty desert road in New Mexico or Arizona on your way to a duel to to the death in Victorville-Hesperia California. This is the western cowboy-glare from the face of Clint Eastwood before you take your last breath. How does a band from Miami make music like this. Noises are coming from the vinyl that you will not know from where or from what instrument. Each sound is ghostly and played with elegance. There is no way to play music like this but to go into the trance of it with full mind and body. This is the part of the concert where everyone is silent and looking inward; Eyes closed, head slowly bopping. You have reached another state of consciousness.  And then it ends in a flash, just like life.


For their first of two tracks on this EP, Birmingham Alabama’s southern sludge lords Midmourner pay homage to Cavity by covering their song Burning My Eyes. Big bass guitar, creeping drums, feedback summoned from somewhere below are all present. Grinding and raspy vocals sound like the inner pain of the despised. The riffs barrel over you like a slow moving storm. And if you thought it couldn’t get any slower and sludgier, just wait for it. Midmourner get into that trance and will have you there with them. This is not the sweet home of Alabama this is definitely the underbelly of Alabama rearing its’ filthy head. When Knives Still Drove Conversations is the second offering from Midmourner and it starts out with a riff that leads the listener to believe the speed is about to pick up. However, like a baseball bat to the gut, you won’t be going anywhere fast soon. You’ve careened off the road and are now in the ditch, in the mud, tires spinning, you’re not getting out of this cleanly. This is big impending doom. I can’t understand the lyrics and frankly, I’m afraid to. The riff with the big fast drum rolls comes back to pummel you momentarily, you think you may escape this ditch, and then it fades to the void, no escape.

Cavity / Midmourner

The artwork and quality of this split EP is stunning as are all Valley King Records releases. I don’t remember any of my 1980’s vinyl albums being of this quality and beauty. These albums released by Valley King Records are really works of art in themselves separate from the music. This EP is a fitting Coda for Cavity, an intense and influential band with a legacy that will endure. This 5-star EP is out now. Beware, once you get a Valley Kings Record release you will want to collect all of them! This is pure vinyl addiction.