Cave In have returned with White Silence, and yet again, their sound has shifted from expectations. Whether you like this or not will probably have been determined already for fans given the bands history, as this shifting around is not a new thing for Cave In. After Perfect Pitch Black and the following hiatus, Cave In seem to have recharged and reshaped. It’s always interesting to see what direction they take, and this one, while not an off the wall left field album, is more a progression and a shift away from Perfect Pitch Black though at times you can hear the band that wrote “In the Stream of Commerce” mixed in with the band that wrote “The End of Our Rope Is a Noose”. White Silence is Cave In as a good single malt, distilled and formed into something new from the many elements that have gone before and wth the addition of time, carefully crafted and coming out with something that live up to the Cave In name.
White Silence opens with a rhythmic guitar part, lots of fuzz, and a feeling of weight on the album’s eponymous track. Serpents is next, more crushing and frantic. Serpents moves into Sing My Love, which contains clean vocals as well and has a heavy groove. It also showcases Brodsky and Scofield’s ability to blend disparate vocal styles successfully. Vicious Circles continues the fuzzed out madness with Scofield’s bass intro and moves into a frenetic riff that despite a few breaks and a bridge type part in the middle never ceases in intensity. Centered starts off with a riff that reminds me very loosely of older Anthrax. The guitar riff and vocals diverge greatly here, but it works in an almost un-syncopated sort of way. This track has one of the coolest guitar solo-esque parts in the middle, it references Jupiter just a touch. Centered flows into Summit Fever, which is an epic sounding anthemic fuzzed out assault of Cave In. This track is one that really blends the past Cave In with the new loud drums, fuzzy guitars Cave In perfectly. Heartbreaks, Earthquakes sounds almost like a Beatles track when it starts, but a Beatles track the slowly unravels into a Cave In track. Iron Decibels starts out with an almost Danzig type vocal feel over and electronic sound scape and moves into sort of proggy rhythmic feel. Reanimation begins as an acoustic track, then expands into lush full instrumentation before ending as an acoustic track. Cave In have successfully combined many seemingly incompatible styles on White Silence, and overall they have done this successfully. If I were to have one gripe it would probably be that the “end or transition with wall of fuzz and electronic madness” happens a lot. Otherwise, this is Cave In being Cave In, which is a good thing. Weight and fuzz are a theme here. The guitars and electronics and keys all build towards this end from various angles.
Overall White Silence is distillation of the Cave In’s we have seen in the past. They have melded the previous styles and with time and lots of fuzz, come up with another incarnation of themselves. This works very well on White Silence. Longtime fans already know you do not get the same thing twice with Cave In, so no exception here, but for those unfamiliar with the band or those who have maybe heard one record, such as Jupiter, this is the same band from a wildly different aspect, and it’s well worth the listen.