Miami Sludge Pioneer Cavity A.D. Is Here to Stay

Steve Sovich
Like many of us, Daniel Gorostiaga gleams when recalling his formative years. Or maybe in his case it's a sludgy gleam. In the early '90s, when he cofounded the sludge-metal band Cavity, he thought Miami's music scene was at a high point.

"It was very free back then. I can see that going to different shows in different towns. Metalheads, sludgers, and punks don't mix anymore. Back then, we only had one place to play, Churchill's. Labels were nonexistent. We had no choice but to go to the same shows where a bunch of freaks played music."

Out of this DIY punk scene, Gorostiaga found a like-minded soul in singer Rene Barge. Together they launched Cavity, following an underground trend toward harder, heavier music. "There was something going all around the country with a hardcore vibe. There was a whole new wave of bands that were dirtier than anything we'd heard before — bands like Citizens Arrest and Godflesh."

From 1992 to 2001, Cavity became locally beloved and nationally known for its heavy sound. But after nearly a decade, the band fell apart. Gorostiaga moved to New York City to study for a master's degree in art. Other members relocated to Chicago and San Francisco. But there were constant requests for a reunion.

"I could see interest in the band online. People didn't know we broke up, and interest kept growing as the sludge genre got bigger."

In 2015, the right person called. Priya Ray, of the '90s Miami band Kreamy 'Lectric Santa, asked Cavity to play a reunion show to help her raise money for a handicapped-accessible van. "Things worked out like the old days," Gorostiaga remembers. "We decided to keep it open and give it another try."

They rechristened themselves Cavity A.D. The reunion has lasted two albums — 2017's After Death and this past January's Wraith — and they plan to work on a third.

That slight change to the name was important for what the bandmates felt was an evolution of their sound. "People try to put us in a box, but we want to try new things. We're more drone-like and more repetitive now. We're getting more experimental. We're bringing drum machines into our live shows as something new to diversify our sound."

Miami can hear the drum-machine-assisted Cavity A.D. at a free show next week at Las Rosas. Founding members Gorostiaga and Barge will be joined onstage by longtime guitarist Ed Matus and newer members Andrew McLees on guitar and Bryan Adams on drums. With sights on that third record and a possible West Coast tour in the fall, the guys have no plans to quit Cavity A.D. — even if they have one foot set in their Miami sludge past.

Cavity A.D. 9 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-780-2700; Admission is free.