This album I have always wanted to review, because it is a real look back into the past for me.
I admit it. I really did like Cave In when this album was released. Their was 2 singles from it which I absolutely loved and had great music videos. But this album received a very mixture of reactions from people when it was released. And I mean a lot of mixed reactions.
Now this album marks a step forward in the Cave In sound, where the band adopted a more mature, contemporary and softer sound. To be honest I prefer this to their earlier sound, but there’s not a very over the top dramatic difference, especially not one to go completely OTT over. But fans did.
Oddly enough this album did really well. Critics praised for a successful transformation and to be honest, the passion was still their…but of course, metal purists aren’t happy unless there’s some stupid screaming vocals in their (Opeth is a prime example). Now I like early Cave In…and new Cave In, but this period is probably my preferred era, because I believe their song writing skills had really been discovered.
Now the sound of the album does still have qualities of their older material, e.g. the post metal sounding atmospheric moments, long songs with massive trip out sections and having songs with quite odd arrangements at times. If anything this sounds like rock with no boundaries really. When listening to this album, I hear a very strong Smashing Pumpkins vibe. I’m not saying that this may be a very strong influence of the band, but there’s a definite musical freedom that both bands share similarities with (especially in some of the guitar riffs and arrangements).
All the vocals in the album are cleans, mainly due to the fact bassist Caleb does no vocals. Stephens approach to vocals this time around is a lot more melodically driven too. And lyrically, its nonsensical, but there is a certain poetic flow to the lyrics, and I think there may be some meaning to some of these songs.
1. Stained Silver – What an intro to the album. Epic chorus, great riffs and some pretty cool lyrics. Probably one of my all-time favourite Cave In songs. 10/10
2. Inspire – I remember when the video for this song came out, I really loved it. And even today I still love it. An amazing simple groovy dark riff with contrasts the poppy side to the song. Cave In are the masters at mixing dark and light. I also love the hidden psychedelics too. 10/10
3. Joy Opposites – I was kind of forgetting this song before listening to it again, and I'm ashamed of even thinking of trying to forget this song. One of their best and most beautiful choruses. Some of the lyrics are a bit iffy, but overall the song is pretty amazing. 9/10
4. Anchor – Probably one of the most darkest pop songs their ever has been. Such a great song, with one catchy as hell chorus and a pretty cool arrangement. There is also a music video for this song, which I highly recommend watching. There is also some great lyrics in this song. 10/10
5. Beautiful Son – It's funny. This reminds me of a Drake Bell song (with the added minor chords added in now and then). The chorus ruins this song I think though. The rest is cool though. In fact theirs moments of this song I really like. 6/10
6. Seafrost – The intro reminds me of a post rock instrumental, mixed with some od Animal Collective beauty. Then an evil bass riff comes in. Out of all the songs on the album, this song is the most reminiscent of their older stuff (basically long and trippy). Ok maybe this song is a bit too long and maybe a bit too trippy for some, but I like it. I especially love the noisy ending (which reminds me of something from The Mars Volta’s Frances The Mute). The vocals in the song are really nice too. 8/10
7. Rubber & Glue – One of the oddest pop songs I have ever heard. With a really catchy verse, and a pretty cool groovy guitar riff, the chorus is quite an odd eclectic and slightly dark take on the song…but it still all fits together incredibly well. The only negative part about the song is the middle 8, which I’m not the biggest fan of. 9/10
8. Youth Overided – Probably the most consistent and poppy song on the album. Flawless in my opinion. Definitely one of the strongest songs, yet its very underlooked, which is a shame, cause it’s an amazing song. I also love the lyrics of this song. Great vocals in the song too. Beautiful arrangement throughout. 10/10
9. Breath Of Water – This is another one of the touch and go moments on the album. I’m really not the biggest fan of this song, but I have to admit, some moments are pretty cool. There is a really cool epic feel to the song, but it’s let down slightly at times. The verses are also miles better than the chorus, and to be honest, the chorus lets the song down a bit (a similar formula to that of Beautiful Son). Although listening to the song again, I’m starting to get used to the chorus. 8/10
10. Lost In The Air – Ok, I was wrong. This is the poppiest song on the album. What a catchy chorus. I love the cool Tom Morello esque guitar noises in the verse. I just love this song so much. 10/10
11. Penny Racer – Another short pop moment on the album. And to be honest, it’s these songs that are the strongest on the album. Such a great chorus, with some interesting lyrics. It’s funny, this song sounds like a rock ‘n roll parody, played by Hawkwind. Great spaciness in the song. Oh and the guitar solo is as cheesy as ever. 10/10
12. Woodwork – Some pretty cool lyrics in this song (I have to admit, they can use words great at times). Great chorus, with a nice message in it. A more experimental song. Still contemporary, but a bit more free in its structure and interpretation. Great ending to the album. 9/10
CONCLUSION: Some moments aren’t the best, and some let the album down a bit, although I d admit, their isn’t really a forgettable song on the album. But overall, this album will always have a special place in my heart. Not a masterpiece, but pretty damn close.