After crafting one of metalcore’s most progressive, innovative, influential albums, 1998’s Until Your Heart Stops, Cave In dabbled in everything from soaring space-rock to would-be major-label stardom. The band’s last album, 2005’s Perfect Pitch Black, sounded a little exhausted; a solid, relatively straightforward post-hardcore workout, it held down Cave In’s name more than anything else. Following a lengthy hiatus—and a promising 2009 EP, Planets Of Old—the group has delivered its fifth proper full-length, White Silence. And while Cave In’s only constant to date has been change, the disc sums up everything that’s made the band so beloved and bewildering over the years.
But rather than stringing together the far-ranging elements of Cave In’s previous releases, White Silence mercilessly boils them down. Atmospheric effects are laid over punishing, technical riffage; squiggles of noise are caught in the rhythmic undertow. As always, the blood-chugging screams of bassist Caleb Scofield and the choirboy melodicism of guitarist Stephen Brodsky offer stunning counterpoints—but their voices are also segregated more than ever before, with Scofield dominating the album’s scathing first half, and Brodsky bringing up the rear with prog-inflated epics like “Heartbreaks, Earthquakes” and the acoustic closer “Reanimation.” It’s a haunting note to end on, especially for a band that’s been reanimated more than once itself; if anything, though, White Silence proves that Cave In has settled into its perennial groove.