Every Record I Own - Day 196: Cave In Beyond Hypothermia
In the Spring of ‘97, my old band Botch did a seven-week U.S. tour with Ink & Dagger and nineironspitfire. That summer, a letter arrived in the band’s P.O. box from a guy named Steve Brodsky. He wrote to say that he’d been in Atlanta on vacation, had gone to our show, and wanted to forward along some photos he’d taken during our set. He mentioned that he was in a band from the Boston area called Cave In and that they had just signed to a new label called Hydra Head Records and that we should play some shows together sometime.
I don’t remember how we actually initiated contact with Hydra Head, but I do know that was the first time I’d heard of the label that would wind up releasing all our albums. We never signed a contract, though we did receive a care package with a bunch of the early Hydra Head releases that included a small handwritten note that said: “Contract: make a good record and don’t break up right away.”
One of the records Hydra Head sent us in those early months of our relationship was this limited vinyl pressing (320 copies) of Cave In’s compilation of early material. My favorite cuts on this record were originally released as the Crossbearer 7″, which married savage dissonant metal-driven hardcore with big melodic breakdowns. It sounded completely unorthodox back in 1997, though it’s influence would prompt scores of metalcore bands to merge mosh riffs with pop choruses. As is often the case with bands pushing boundaries, the pioneers made something amazing that was quickly twisted and watered down by hordes of imitators, but even twenty years later the material on Beyond Hypothermia still slays.