50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

Cave In: White SilenceCave InWhite Silence (Hydra Head, 5/24/11)

Cave In: “Sing My Loves”

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When Cave In returned from hiatus with its Planets of Old EP in 2009, it marked a true full-circle moment — from metalcore mastery to pop-rock faltering back to thrashing, effects-driven hardcore. This year, Cave In was back again with White Silence, its first full-length since Perfect Pitch Black, the 2005 transition back to heaviness that featured trance-inducing grooves as well as acoustic balladry care of guitarist/singer Stephen Brodsky.

White Silence is nearly as much a melting pot as Planets of Old. Though tracks such as “Serpeants” lean on bassist Caleb Scofield‘s searing screams and Old Man Gloom-esque riffs, and the final three tracks are built around Brodsky’s singer/songwriter abilities, the members always complement each other in a way that keeps the band treading new ground.

The guitar effects of Brodsky and Adam McGrath are especially crucial, as a celestial or shrieking texture often pairs with the pure riffing. They make as much of an impact on the tracks that Brodsky leads, making his first (“Heartbreaks, Earthquakes”) sound like if John Lennon fronted a psych-sludge band. It’s been a strange trip for Cave In, but White Silence finds the Boston band in a sort of “second prime.”

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