If you were a fan of Cave In’s earlier work but let them go from Jupiter onward then White Silence should get the band back in your good graces again. Never before has a band managed to take the sum of all of its separate parts (Old Man Gloom, Clouds, Zozobra, Octave Museum, etc…) and make such a cohesive record with it.
The first thing you’ll notice about White Silence is how visceral and raw it is. Caleb Scofield is in top form contributing both the low end and seething vocals throughout. Stephen Brodsky sings and screams with ease. Adam McGrath thrashes away one moment, strums quietly the next. JR Conners clubs you over the head then gently rocks you to sleep. The extremes are plenty, but they mesh well.
“White Silence” starts out with a wall of fuzzed-out feedback with Brodsky and Scofield’s dueling screams leading the charge. A basic song structure eventually hits around the minute and a half mark and just as quickly fades away. “Serpents” continues the noise but in a much heavier way. The opening slam repeats until Scofield enters and scares the hell out of you.
“Sing My Loves” rumbles along like an ocean liner over troubled waters and is unique not only in its length (Eight minutes plus!) but also that its the first to feature Brodsky actually singing (It’s the third track here…). The song could sit perfectly along the prog-grandioseness of Jupiter.Yeah, it’s that epic.
For some reason “Summit Fever” is the one that gets me every time. Sonically it sounds like nothing Cave In has ever done before yet still retains everything I love about them. Brodsky’s voice over Connor’s march is exquisite.
Then there’s “Heartbreaks, Earthquakes” which I can’t help but be reminded of The Beatles every time I hear it:
At barely 35 minutes long, White Silence is easy to take in and the flow from one track to the next makes it more like “Cave In: An Aural History mixtape vol. 1” rather than a new album but that’s what makes it work so well.
All over White Silence, it seems like the remnants of Zozobra and especially Old Man Gloom have seeped in. With rumblings of a new Old Man Gloom record, White Silence could just be the prelude to the dawn of a new era for thinking man’s metal in Boston. That said, I don’t know what switch was turned on in “Cave In collective” to make an album so alive, so angry and so energetic but I, for one, hope they never turn it off again.