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Album Review: Cave In - 'White Silence'

31 May 2011 | 10:33 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Thank God for bands like Cave In

More Cave In More Cave In

Massachusetts' Cave In were part of the metalcore vocabulary well before the genre even formerly existed. Before we associated, skinny leg jeans, flashy hairstyles and an abundance of breakdowns with the style, Cave In were plying their collective trade, carving a trail along with other bands like Converge and Shai Hulud. One which many, if not all 'core' bands owe a great deal to today.

However, Cave In have come full circle. This is not a metalcore record, just as it's not an alternative record or even a hardcore album for that matter. It contains aspects of the aforementioned but revels in a sound that gives genre boundaries the middle finger salute.

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At times, studio album number five and first official release in six years, 'White Silence' sounds like an early Mastodon record. At other times a Converge record and at other moments, it sounds like neither Cave In nor any other band for that matter. Featuring artwork from ISIS member Aaron Turner, his preference for all things experimental, ambient and heavy have, in perhaps a subconscious level, rubbed off on Cave In themselves.

It is clear the Methuen quartet are hellbent on not making the same album twice. While predecessor 'Perfect Pitch Black' had an almost alternative crooning element to it, 'White Silence' again steers the musical ship in a different direction. Evolving. Changing. Updating.

'Serpents' sounds like an 'Axe to Fall' b-side with its impressive and unrelenting riff-heavy approach, that mixes a loud, distorted resonance with an equally fast tempo. 'Sing My Loves' is 8 minutes of post-hardcore/trippy rock, mixed with spacey vocals that becomes more anthemic the longer the track plays out. 'Vicious Circles' is again at the heavier end of things while 'Iron Decibels' is so different to anything else that it is hard to believe this is the same album.

Essentially, the greatest charm of 'White Silence' lies in its unconditional and confident delivery. The release radiates a message that seemingly laughs in the face of anyone who thinks experimentation is inherently a bad thing.

'White Silence' has a few tricks up its sleeve. In many respects, this nine track offering shows the young kids the way things should be done. While that may be a simplistic and purist way of looking at things, it's undeniable upon a cursory listen that Cave In still have an arsenal of musical power that will see the band continue for many years to come.

1. White Silence

2. Serpents

3. Sing My Loves

4. Vicious Circles

5. Centered

6. Summit Fever

7. Heartbreaks, Earthquakes

8. Iron Decibels

9. Reanimation