Cave In

Planets Of Old EP

Written by: AP on 21/02/2010 14:10:27

Stateside they have toured with such heavyweights as Foo Fighters and Muse, but on this side of the pool Cave In are a bit of an enigma - a Converge-sanctioned mystery whose approach to music is sometimes likened to Mike Patton's defiant extroversion. The band's hyperbolic career arc may seem like a case of undiagnosed schizophrenia to some and a reflection of ingenious artistry to others, but one thing cannot be argued: the band has always been willing to take risks where others have stayed in safer harbors. Since Cave In's early hardcore and thrash fusions, to its escapades through space rock and psychedelia, and on to the alternative rock fests of later years, the band has consistently challenged its fans and advanced its sound into new, uncharted territories - and amazingly, despite the fact that no two albums have ever sounded the same, Cave In have never lost focus.

"Planets of Old" marks the band's comeback after a three-year hiatus and shows how Cave In have rejuvenated both in body and mind. The EP achieves the impossible, honing in on all of the styles that made the band so unique in days foregone while breathing new life into their forward-thinking edge. Abstract, progressive song structures are still the name of the game, "Cayman Tongue" lets us know with its towering wall of murky sludge featuring a chillingly well-executed mesh of vocals from guitarist/singer Steve Brodsky and bassist Caleb Scofield, the latter's brooding screams bringing to mind Sean Ingram of Coalesce. "Retina Sees Rewind" introduces a groovy, overdriven guitar lead that sounds like Thin Lizzy on steroids before "The Red Trail" reminds us why Converge are so fond of this band. Its frenzied punk drumming, technical riffing and high pitched shrieking sound like something off "Jane Doe", with a hint of A Textbook Tragedy's intensity evident in the fretboards. The EP closes with "Air Escapes", the catchiest of the bunch; an alternative rock piece that despite its infectious groove does not quite live up to its three companions.

Still, "Planets of Old" is a transitional release that screams Cave In is back - a promise of things to come. It is governed by an air of nostalgia and firing on all cylinders, reminding us of the chameleon that is Cave In. It remains to be seen what the band can cook up for a future full-length release, but if "Planets of Old" is a sampler, we should expect nothing short of perfection. While we're waiting though, give this one a spin!

8

Download: Cayman Tongue, Retina Sees Rewind, The Red Trail
For the fans of: Converge, Doomriders, Failure, The Hope Conspiracy
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.08.2009
Hydrahead

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