Cave In
White Silence



by Xenophanes STAFF
May 23rd, 2011 | 307 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While it's true that Cave In have made their triumphant return, "White Silence" feels as though they never left us to begin with...

Back in 2009, at the release of Planets of Old, Cave In crawled out from whence the hid, and showed the world that they had not yet expired. Fast, intense, and full of bruising riffs and crushing melodies, the brief EP saw a return to the Cave In of old, circa Until Your Heart Stops. More importantly, however, it depicted a band that had not yet lost their touch, even after a few years respite. The thing to note here is that Cave In, while having “returned,” does not sound like a band that even left to begin with. White Silence, their first record in almost six years, picks up where the band left off, melding everything they have ever been throughout their careers, whilst sounding like nothing they have ever done before.

White Silence is the follow up to their 2005 effort Perfect Pitch Black, an album full of pent up anger at their label, RCA Recordings. Having returned to their roots with the album, Cave In presented RCA with several demos, of which were shot down, which eventually led to the label dropping the band in 2004. These demos went on to become their fourth record, but this time on Hydra Head Records. White Silence somewhat follows this album, in that it incorporates their heavier pre-Jupiter sound, as well as their more alternative/progressive side. However, comparing the two is a bit of a stretch, as White Silence is the band’s most experimental album to date, sounding like a logical progression from Planets of Old, as well as a minor revisit of their more spaced out middle era recordings.

Regardless of where it falls in comparison to the Cave In “canon,” White Silence manages to be one hell of an album, and a new standard for the band. They’ve crafted a record that literally defies “genrefication” as well as any sort of definition, floating somewhere within the realms of post-hardcore, metalcore, alternative-rock, and sludge. Each track paints its own sonic landscape, never sounding akin to the song before or after it. This is thanks in large part to the line-up, who manage to impress at just about every turn. Most impressive are the vocals, of which are the absolute best on any Cave In record to date. Stephen Brodsky, Caleb Scofield, and Adam McGrath all contribute to vocal duties, but it’s Scofield that truly steals the show. Deep, throaty, and menacing, Scofield is quite a force to be reckoned with behind the mic. The rest of the crew, while not over coming feats of mind bending technicality, impress with creative stylistic changes and off-the-wall combinations of influences. You’ll hear breakdowns alongside southern style riffs, all tied together with a sludgy, dark chug. Cave In have always been a band to keep the listener on their toes, and White Silence is no different.

The album opens up with an eponymous track, filled with static, ominous vocals, and murky guitar. It’s an intro of sorts, leading into the explosive “Serpents.” It’s with this track that their “return to form” becomes readily apparent, as a frenzied and upbeat drum segment gives way to a rapid guitar interlude. Scofield comes in with his wallow and the song’s intensity never lets up. It’s about as close to Until Your Heart Stops as the album gets, for “Sing My Loves” comes in and dismantles all pre-conceived ideas of what White Silence will be. “Sing My Loves” is destined to be the band’s anthem, a sprawling song that perfectly captures their new direction, all while being particularly engrossing. It’s also destined to be the song fans will talk about for years to come. At eight minutes in length, it’s by far the longest track, featuring several shifts in tone, dynamics, and atmosphere. It’s a sludgy, thoughtful tune that sees strong vocal interplays and rather beautiful guitar work. The slower pace and the considerable girth would have been better suited as a middle-of-the-album anchor, but it does little to detract from the piece.

The rest of the album sees Cave In letting loose, mixing intense, heavy tunes, with frenzied balls-to-the-wall enjoyable songs. “Vicious Circles” and “Centered” come in at full force. With guns blazing the two songs speed through the album’s midsection, all whilst being wholly unpredictable. “Summit Fever” slows things down a bit, feeling more methodical and melodic, yet still uncompromisingly heavy. “Heartbreaks, Earthquakes” reeks of 70’s cheese annealed with a Pink Floyd flair, but Cave In contort it enough to make it completely captivating. The acoustic closer, “Reanimation,” is the most minimal, subtle piece on the entire record, but is absolutely the best possible way to end the record. With a climatic explosion, the album fades to its conclusion, and ultimately, ends on a fascinatingly beautiful note.

White Silence is a stunning return for Cave In, and should without a doubt stand tall next to their very best works. This is the album Cave In needed to make; proof that they’ve never really left us, and a shinning beacon of what is hopefully a start of what is to come.

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user ratings (410)
other reviews of this album
Ecnalzen (4)
Cave In’s return is a solid album that might just have a little something for everybody....

goatskin (4.5)
Return of the Kings......

Braden378 (4.5)
A great comeback after 6 years since their last release....

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Ha it seems like I'm always reading one of your reviews whenever there's a review up for a new album I've been listening to.

Nice review though. You're definitely right about the vocals on this. I had the same thoughts.

May 24th 2011



May 24th 2011


i hate the last 3 songs on this, but the other 2/3rds is absolutely perfect

May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Having trouble acquiring this but my computer has also been fucked all month.

Sing My Loves ruled.

May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

iron decibels just sounds really fucking cool. love that shit.

May 24th 2011


Really good review. I need to listen to this so badly. I just need to find the time

May 24th 2011


shit, didn't realize this band had so many releases... i checked out their debut a few weeks back and though it was alright... looks like i should get on this, orders of eli.

May 24th 2011


Cave In are back, baby

May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

holy shit look at that bar graph/average

May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm in love with this album.

May 24th 2011


It kinda reminds me of Zozobra. And I like it.

May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fucking LOVE this album so much. Sing My Loves, Centered, Summit Fever and Reanimation are so good but overall there isn't one bad track

May 24th 2011


so i need to hear this?

fantasticdangler's soundoff: "listening to sing my love and it sounds like gojira and mastodon, killer"

hmmmm maybe not

May 24th 2011


CAVE IN!!! Lovin' this album. Pos' for great review.

Digging: THE FULL TEENZ - ???????????

May 24th 2011


"listening to sing my love and it sounds like gojira and mastodon, killer"
No, it really doesn't.

May 24th 2011


yeah i guess maybe not considering dangler's sort of an idiot

May 24th 2011


It kinda more reminds of things like Zozobra. It's more sludge influenced I'd say.

May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

lol im not an idiot, the riff at 1:33 is sooo gojira, and the vocals starting around 2:00 remind me of

mastodon, thats all i was referring too

the rest of the song does not, however

Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2011


I quite fancied Perfect Pitch Black, i will check this as well.

Digging: Nightfear (ESP) - Apocalypse

May 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

Heavy album of the year so far. Cave In show all the new bands out there how it's done. Basically, this is pretty hard to compare to stuff; but if you have any kind of appreciation for heavy music then this is worth checking out.

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