On its second album Dutch death metal band Caedere started to develop more of its own identity. Still heavily indebted to Severe Torture “Clones Of Industry” has Caedere slowly letting loose of its direct influence towards something more individual sounding. More of a refinement than a reinvention “Clones Of Industry” merely hints at what would materialize. “Clones Of Industry” solidifies the promise that Caedere was on the verge of breaking away from its inspirations and becoming its own recognizable entity. Delayed for over a year by its contractor Grotesque Production and released without a promotional campaign worthy of the name, “Clones Of Industry” should have been bigger than it ended up being.

In the six years since its unassuming and fairly typical debut the band had acquired a second guitarist with Thomas Luijken, and a better understanding of where it wanted to take its music. Caedere has the misfortune of positioning itself in between the two ends of the spectrum. It has neither the hooks and grooves of “Feasting On Blood” Severe Torture, and neither the unholy riff schemes and malevolent atmosphere of early Sinister. Caedere is influenced by both, but tends to gravitate more towards the Severe Torture part of the equation.

“Mass Emission” was still heavily indebted to early Severe Torture (and Cannibal Corpse, by proxy). “Clones Of Industry” is marked by a light Morbid Angel influence in comparison to the debut of six years prior. The influence translates itself in better balanced song structures, and less of a focus on immediate visceral punch. The riff construction and chord progressions are still closely linked to “Feasting On Blood” and “Misanthropic Carnage” era Severe Torture. The riffing itself has become weightier, as have the transitions and the general feel of the songs. The Morbid Angel influence that defined its third album “The Lost Conveyance” is limited to a few isolated instances.

Understanding that more animated lead work, a scarcity on “Mass Emission” to say the very least, was necessary to spice up its assault two tracks feature guitar solos. Adding further diversity is the bass break in ‘Reincarnation Of A Soul’. ‘Transitoriness and Oblivion’ is interesting in retrospect because of its greater Morbid Angel influence, and that it was a precursor to the band’s direction on its subsequent album “The Lost Conveyance”. Not all material on “Clones Of Industry” was new as the trio of ‘Need For Greed’, ‘Clones Of Industry’ and ‘Scorn’ were all re-recorded from the independently distributed “Promo 2007”.

A more interesting evolution happened with Caedere’s choice of lyrical subject matter. “Clones Of Industry” forgoes the trite gore content of its “Mass Emission” debut in favor of a broad socio-political thematic detailing how economic – and technological advancements have forced various participants of society into a role of indentured servitude. Conceptually “Clones Of Industry” hardly offers up any novelties, or new insights into its dystopian subject of choice, but it is infinitely more interesting than the tired and tiresome gore that characterized much of its debut. The artwork by Rutger de Vries for Hrödger Design capitalizes on the subject matter with a number of interchangeable faces set to a background of a high-rise building.

The album was recorded at Deusex Infernis Studio in Zutphen with Pascal Altena producing, except for the drums that were recorded at Scenic Studio in Enschede with Nico van Montfort engineering. “Clones Of Industry” was mastered by Disavowed vocalist Robbert Kok at Audiovisualz. The production choices are somewhat puzzling when it comes right to it. Caedere combines a Swedish guitar tone, decidedly Stockholm in tone, with audible bass guitar licks and an Immolation-like drum sound. Whether this production choice was done to budgetary contraints or inexperience remains to be seen. It’s an odd choice of tones that don’t mesh well, and often make the record sounds unnecessarily hostile to inexperienced listeners. What it lacks in clarity it makes up in crunch, and what it lacks in textural depth it complements in sheer concreteness.

An unfortunate set of circumstances with its label resulted in the album being delayed for over a year by Spanish label Grotesque Productions. This in turn prompted the interest of American label Deepsend Records to release the album instead you could look here. Loyal to its original contract Caedere persevered with its Spanish label partner, who ended up doing zero promotion for the record. In hindsight Deepsend Records could perhaps have given “Clones Of Industry” the kind of promotion it deserved. As it stands “Clones Of Industry” is where Caedere started to show more individual character, and no longer was a mere sum of its collective influences. It was the missing link between its bog-standard beginnings and its more musically/lyrically sophisticated third offering.

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“Mass Emission”, the somewhat unassuming debut of Dutch death metal combo Caedere, lends itself to the assertion that it was inspired at least in part by American – and European institutions of the genre. In particular the likes of “Stabwound Intercourse” era Gorgasm and “Feasting On Blood” era Severe Torture. Not a record to concern itself with subtleties or ornamental enhancements, here Caedere functions as a blunt object. As such “Mass Emission” isn’t an album to waste time, and gets to the point immediately.

Caedere was formed in 1998 in Twente-Overrijsel, Holland. In its original constellation the band consisted of founding members Niels Ottink (guitar, vocals), Herbert Cats (bass guitar) and Michiel Lankhorst (vocals) along with a different drummer, and second guitarist. Notable is that it wasn’t until the joining of former Fluisterwoud percussionist Sjoerd Modderkolk that the band would make significant progress in the artistic - and musical sense. Caedere is, fitting for a death metal band, Latin for “to kill”. Prior to debuting internationally with “Mass Emission” the band self-released and distributed the “Gore to Banish Fear” demo/EP, whose four tracks (‘Human Decay (Dark Future)’, ‘Corpse For the Theft’, ‘Close to Decomposing’ and ‘Rope to Die’) reappear in re-recorded form on this album. ‘Human Decay (Dark Future)’ had its title shortened to just ‘Human Decay’.

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The drum roll that opens the title track sets the pace for the record. Caedere plays death metal in the American tradition with a European sense for melody. The break in ‘Close to Decomposing’ is the only instance wherein the bass guitar is given a moment to shine. Truthfully, the great majority of the material on “Mass Emission” doesn’t allow for any creative bass licks, and as such it isn’t surprising that Herbert Cats dutifully ends up doubling the guitar as often as he does. ‘Rope to Die’ increases the Morbid Angel influence, and has some distinct bass plucking. It recycles in part, perhaps unintentionally, a familiar chord progression from the Gorefest track 'Second Face'. ‘Rotten to the Core’ is not an Overkill cover as the title would suggest. ‘Corpse For the Theft’ sounds radically different from the other tracks with its jagged riffing and bouncy rhythms. It sounds closer to Napalm Death’s universally reviled duo “Fear, Emptiness, Despair” and “Diatribes”. The only guitar solo of the album, provided by session musician Martijn Kok, makes an appearance on the Hypocrisy cover track ‘Pleasure Of Molestation’.

Caedere understands the importance of song structure, and each track has a recognizable beginning, middle, and end. Neither are they afraid to slow down, and push towards a fitting groove whenever the song calls for it. The album doesn’t carry the same macabre atmosphere as, say, Gorefest debut “Mindloss” or the incessant darkness of the third Sinister record “Hate”, but at least Caedere tries to do more than just basic aggression and speed. While none of the songs have any guitar solos to speak of there are plenty of recognizable moments in each. The fact that Niels Ottink was the sole guitarist explains the lack of any guitar acrobatics. Ottink’s rhythm playing is as precise and tight-knit as one has come to expect of the genre. Unlike their American peers Gorgasm, Caedere also don’t have a traditional metal undercurrent in their riffing – instead the adhere to the Dutch tradition of highly precise visceral intensity.

Only ‘Mass Emission’ and ‘Impaled’ diverge from the standard gore lyrical theme. The latter hints ever so slightly at the socio-political direction Caedere would explore on its subsequent albums. It goes without saying that the lyrics that diverge from the tired gore and grue subjects are the most interesting of the album. On its debut Caedere is content to stay within the tried and true conventions of the genre. It wouldn’t be until Caedere opted for socio-political lyrics that their character truly started to define itself. “Mass Emission” isn’t quite as adventurous yet, and quite conventional within the well-trodden parameters it set for itself. As such it is hardly a mandatory release in the genre, as the band sounds derivative of its more popular Dutch peers, especially the early work of Severe Torture.

Superficially Caedere does indeed sound like an early Severe Torture (“Feasting On Blood”) knockoff, but there are a few fundamental differences between both bands. Michiel Lankhorst’ vocals tend to lean more towards George Fisher territory than Dennis Schreurs’ bloodied gutturals. Sjoerd Modderkolk’s drumming is far more elaborate in terms of fills than Seth van de Loo’s early work with his band. Caedere is primarily a guitar-focused band, and on “Mass Emission” Herbert Cats’ superb sounding bass guitar doesn’t do much to warrant attention outside of its solitary bass break in ‘Close to Decomposing’.

Caedere differs drastically from its inspiration in terms of rhythms and melodies. “Mass Emission” seems to be primarily written around angular rhythms that very much recall “False”, the second album of Dutch institution Gorefest. The transitions and general riff construction are almost Polish in design and execution. As such the choice of cover track is somewhat of a headscratcher as on a release like this, and given the band’s stylistic inclinations, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect something from Morbid Angel, Demilich, Lost Soul, or “False” era Gorefest as a choice in cover track. “Mass Emission” is a solid record in its own right, but hardly the new standard for Dutch death metal. Caedere debuted far stronger than some of its contemporaries, but it wouldn’t be until the arrival of its third album that they truly started to carve out a sound that they could truly call their own.