Review Summary: Cave In sums up the bulk of their musical career with a nice little collection of songs
Cave In is such a uniquely weird band. They have reinvented their sound with pretty much every album they have released up until Perfect Pitch Black
but still managed to keep that Cave In vibe. It doesn't matter if Caleb is rip roaring through a track with his harsh vocals or Brodsky is soaring with his cleans (or a little of both), there is a certain sound to their music that is all their own.
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 harsh 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 "sold out" and dropped the metalcore sound, it is a more accessible version of a heavier aspect combined with the previous styles of progressive and rock. It’s not all riffs and screaming though; the CD is split pretty evenly between their heavier sound and the a more rock/progressive style.
“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, everything comes together 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 flow right into “Down the Drain,” a completely mellowed out Cave In song. “Tension in the Ranks,” is another chill 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 as per usual, 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 hitting 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 Caleb roaring out over the speakers, the song is an absolute blast 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 guitars 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, and 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, it wasn’t intended on being an actual album but a collection of songs. As somewhat of an encapsulation of what the band has achieved so far in 10 concise tracks, I don't think I would have it any other way.