Review Summary: Cave In gives us a taste of what is to come before they went off in hiatus. 'Perfect Pitch Black' is an attempt at splicing the genres they have played around with so far with pretty successful results.
My first experience with Cave In was with Antenna
and then I just kind of made my way backwards with their releases until Perfect Pitch Black
came out. I am more of a fan of hardcore/post-hardcore when it comes to heavier music and/or screaming vocals, so I found this release more appealing than their metalcore roots. I did find a new respect for the band when I discovered how their styles changed so wildly between releases and how well they pulled each one of them off.
Perfect Pitch Black
tries to combine the best of Cave In on one disc. While it never quite reaches the intensity of the metalcore sound they started out with on Until Your Heart Stops
, it still brings some heavy riffs in and the screaming vocals return. While songs like “The World is in Your Way,” “Off to Ruin” and “Trepanning” might not be enough to bring in some of that original fan base that probably left when they dropped the metalcore, it is a more accessible version of a heavier sound combined with the previous styles of progressive and rock. It’s not all heavy guitars and screaming though. The CD is split pretty evenly between the hardcore and the rock/progressive.
“Paranormal” is just that; an even split between the two. It actually feels like the divider of the album, sitting right in the middle and almost combining all the different sounds of Cave In on one song. It delivers very mellow, spacey/progressive like sounding verses that almost clash with the crushing distorted guitars and screaming vocals of the chorus. While it seems like it shouldn’t work, it does in a surprisingly wonderful way. After all that is said and done, we get a nice visit back to the space rock sound found on Jupiter with the last two minutes of the song that just flow into the also spacey sounding “Down the Drain,” a completely mellowed out Cave In song. “Tension in the Ranks,” is another spacey sounding mellow track placed towards the end, but this is really the only time Cave In slows down for us. The rest of the album has a pretty upbeat, more aggressive feel to it.
“Off to Ruin” and “The World is in Your Way” are such odd songs, both having these goofy main guitar riffs to them. While the former has a very dark undertone that it carries along, the latter is just bipolar. It’s a strange juxtaposition for the both of them, but Cave In pulls it off. “The World is in Your Way” has a bit of a similar feel to “Paranormal,” where the screaming parts and heavy guitars almost come out of nowhere the first time they are introduced. But just like on “Paranormal,” the transitions somehow work. Then we have “Trepanning,” the very aggressive, hard rock gem of Perfect Pitch Black
. The minute the song starts out, you know exactly what you are in for and it’s a hell of a ride. With a single guitar and a scream that just belts out over the speakers, the song is an absolute blast as soon as everybody joins in until the second it’s over. I bet it would be a fantastic song to hear and see live.
The album is just filled with sounds of the past as Cave In tries their best to combine all their previous efforts. We get another instrumental track, just like on Jupiter
, called “Ataraxia.” It’s wonderfully done and probably my favorite track, along with “Trepanning.” Last we have the two rock tracks, “Droned” and “Screaming in Your Sleep,” which could fit right in with some of the songs from Antenna
, with more of an aggressive feel. I would also like to give a special mention to the bass. It doesn’t get lost in the mix and you can hear it on a regular basis playing along in the background, diverting itself from the rhythm guitar quite often. A lot of times the bass is just a follower of the rhythm guitar in a rock setting, but not with Cave In. It’s a nice change of pace.
If anything, the only downfall Perfect Pitch Black
has is that there isn’t necessarily anything new here from a band that changes styles so regularly. Granted, the CD wasn’t intended on being an actual album, it was more just a collection of songs. If anything, it shows us that Cave In is on a path to show what they are really made of.