Band – Cavalcade
Album – Evergreens
Country of Origin – Lansing, MI, USA
Genre – Metal/Sludge/Post-punk
Release Date – November 4, 2023
Label – Bermuda Mohawk
Author – Benjamin Boggs
I would like to kick off this article by saying that I am a ridiculously huge fan of Cavalcade. Not only as musicians, but as friends. They have earned my endless respect and admiration, both on and off stage. I would love to tell you about their latest offering: a WHOPPING double album titled Evergreens.
Bassist and artist Craig Horky designed the cover art for this release and vocalist Sean Peters produced the album at his studio. On Evergreens, Cavalcade pushes the boundaries of what they are and what they do. Lead single and opening track Demons for the Truth feels very familiar to those indoctrinated to the Cavalcade sound. It’s sludgy, it’s scary, it has the wailing vocals of Sean Peters and it crawls along at its own pace like an alligator at a farmer’s market.
After this introduction, we are off to the races. Distilled Desire is the follow up song and it sounds as if Darkthrone recorded this track in a punk rock house venue. It sounds so gnarly and so dirty, but not before Christian Urrabazo’s drums stomp around a sickly psychedelic call and response lead from guitar wizards Brad Van Staveren and Cale Sauter.
Cavalcade is difficult to describe as they are a bizarre and eclectic treasure to Michigan and beyond. As such, I will do my best to explain their sound. At times, we are reminded of the spirit of Nirvana if they were a doom band, like on the song Let it Go. There are songs like the titular track Evergreens that are reminiscent of post-punk gothic rock heroes The Cure. They can be as spacey as the Twin Peaks soundtrack and as abrasive as anything out of the Norwegian Black Metal scene. However, they always do what they do best: they bring it back to the basements of Lansing. Once again, sludge abounds, covering the glimmering shoegaze guitars. There are moments on this album like the crushing Dive Stage that just destroy in the best ways possible. What they accomplish so well is that no matter what they are doing, they ALWAYS sound like Cavalcade.
One of my favorite parts of this album (and there are many) is the layers and layers of auxiliary sound effects, samples and tones. It’s ear candy to the extreme and a big reason why I find myself listening to it over and over. Smile like a Ghost starts off with some sonic madness and that trademark Cavalcade slither. Peters sounds so haunted on this track and it has truly become a standout for me. The bass and the drums interact as though you were wearing a huge pair of boots and were about to stomp a tiny village to the ground.
I could legit go over every song on this album and deliver a fourteen page synopsis, but for the sake of space, let me just say this is ambitious. Double album ambitious. 1:17:29 running time ambitious. There is genuinely never a dull time on this album. Take your mind on a sonic trip and hear why Cavalcade are one of Michigan’s most important exports. I cannot recommend this album highly enough.