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Cave In - Perfect Pitch Black (Cover Artwork)

Cave In

Cave In: Perfect Pitch BlackPerfect Pitch Black (2005)
Hydra Head Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ironically, it's very, very tough to say if Perfect Pitch Black is the record Cave In wanted to make. The post-hardcore / alternative metal ambassadors had suddenly materialized into just that with the release of 2000's Jupiter on their flagship Hydra Head Records label after administering crushingl.
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Ironically, it's very, very tough to say if Perfect Pitch Black is the record Cave In wanted to make. The post-hardcore / alternative metal ambassadors had suddenly materialized into just that with the release of 2000's Jupiter on their flagship Hydra Head Records label after administering crushingly heavy metalcore records in the earlier days of that style. After the extension piece in Tides of Tomorrow, a contract with the folks at RCA followed, and the band found themselves in a common tug of war between trying to please both radio play-hungry executives and longtime fans. With the threads of that rope slowly splitting apart, 2003's Antenna was released to mixed reaction; while an intelligent rock record on its own merits, it failed to appease either side; while it lacked the vast ambition of Jupiter, it also failed to deliver on the accessibility RCA was looking for. It, in all likelihood, was not quite the record Cave In wanted to make, yet nor was it the one the label wanted to hear. So even with the creative freedom back fully in their hands and their home back in the familiar countryland of Hydra Head, Perfect Pitch Black seems more a stopover in Cave In's progression than anything, as it seems to recall a healthy amount of traits from Jupiter along with fits of screaming and growling, the likes of which haven't been audible since 1999's Until Your Heart Stops. Is employing this style an outright attempt to win back fans? Maybe. Is Perfect Pitch Black another intelligent, well-structured and strongly written rock record regardless? Definitely.

Indeed, Perfect Pitch Black specifically tries to pick back up where both Heart and Jupiter left off, often in the same track. This is nearly immediately evident as a series of static interference acts as an instrumental title track that opens the disc, which leads into "The World is in Your Way," whom not only picks up on the Egyptian guitar tones initially devised on Jupiter, but finds lead vocalist Stephen Brodsky teeth-clenched and thickly moaning the title lyric in between sudden bursts of backup growls. "Trepanning" is the most rock'n'roll track Cave In's laid to tape. It bounces along with intense growls in the verses and a rythmic spew of "chew them up / spit them out / feed them to / the / wolves" that acts as the transition to where in the chorus, Brodsky's casually, almost head-bobbingly singing. There's even a cheesy little solo tucked in at one point that actually makes a great deal of sense.

Certain standout "Paranormal" is the seven-minute centerpiece, opening with spacey, mechanical shuddering that stops for Brodsky to announce "moonlight comes through the shades now," and lightly soaring "oh-ohhhhs" that follow it up and appear often throughout the song. It's here in this emotional building that Brodsky's U2 influence is most prevalent, as while his beautiful croon seems sparse on the record, his voice overall is stronger than ever, practically stadium-like in both his range and, notably, expressiveness. Interspersed between this said smattering of "ohs" are the band sounding straight plain pissed off, growls spit into the mic with a gleam of static over the voice. The track continues with some atmospheric scene setting, and then suddenly initiates its buildup, with a commanding drum roll and lightly squealing guitars that let up for Brodsky to offer the same "ohs" that here help the track finish its emotional letting down.

The record finishes up rather strongly as well. "Down the Drain" is the acoustic-driven slow jam of the album; Brodsky's whisper helps it move along as bloop programming skips along in the background. "Droned" and "Ataraxia" both offer a dark-sounding reprieve from the otherwise hopeful moods, sounding massively cynical, the latter an instrumental (aside from some practical choir "ahs" resonating in back) swaying in and out with more foreign-sounding guitars that seem to either melt and drip through the speakers or heavily but rythmically plod along. "Tension in the Ranks" recalls Cave In's "Radiohead gone post-hardcore" moments, as its valleys and peaks are both moderate and subtle; it's slightly spacey, its pacing subdued, and the guitars and rhythm section manage to crumble together rather than crash into. "Screaming in Your Sleep" closes it out with another bouncy, more rock-dependent flow, a fully distorted bass underlying either direct screeching or urgent riffing from the guitars.

Cave In may not be setting another skyhigh bar with Perfect Pitch Black, but they've definitely managed to make another more than respectable entry into a style they've seemed to both popularize and revolutionize the latest wave of.

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

A step in the right direction, great band but not unlocking all there potential yet. Antenna/Jupiter are great albums, there musical diversity and change ups pretty much own the music world.

Brodsky's voice just changes there tone of music everytime. Fanboi 4 sure.

Anonymous (October 6, 2005)

A step back. Integrity and credibility fucked and slayed. Please, take me back to 1999 and Jupiter.

Anonymous (October 5, 2005)

good stuff

soulbleed (October 3, 2005)

"2003's Antenna was released to mixed reaction"

mixed? what? i don't think so.

Anonymous (September 28, 2005)

Amazing cd!!!

Anonymous (September 28, 2005)

anonymous, i also thought it had definite traces of smashing pumpkins, kind of siamese dream era.

wrongstring (September 28, 2005)

great record. can't wait for new stuff with ben from converge on drums. bet it'll be even more amazing.

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

To me, Perfect Pitch Black sounds like a cross between Jupiter and later-Smashing Pumpkins. It's definitely more "alternative" than punk or metal or hardcore, and the generic verse/chorus arrangements hurt the album overall. Despite this, Cave In are talented enough to pull together some catchy material - but I don't think it's novelty will last particularly long. Probably a good album to buy used.

OC

inagreendase (September 27, 2005)

...Did I read that the wrong way?

Thanks, fixed.

Infrarecon (September 27, 2005)

This is kind of off topic but i want to know if there is a review of the new Pelican album in the queue, I might write one (and anyone else is welcome to it too) but I just want to know.

Russe11 (September 27, 2005)

http://www.lambgoat.com/features/interviews/cave_in3.aspx

Pre tty good interview, but I would have liked to know if they had any plans to start working on another album any time soon..

Russe11 (September 27, 2005)

Oh and that was me two posts below sorry.

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

Jones has beef with the term "growling".

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

"as it seems to recall a healthy amount of traits from Jupiter along with Brodsky's voice often in fits of screaming and growling, the likes of which haven't been audible since 1999's Until Your Heart Stops."

Did I read that the wrong way?

etwiels88 (September 27, 2005)

I like this album

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

www.synthasaurus.com

inagreendase (September 27, 2005)

Uh Brian, Caleb does the screaming on this album not Stephen. Otherwise nice review but that bothered me.

I fixed it last night; where do you see in the review me mentioning Brodsky screaming/growling?

Russe11 (September 27, 2005)

Uh Brian, Caleb does the screaming on this album not Stephen. Otherwise nice review but that bothered me.

SilentStorms (September 27, 2005)

I love this 'album'. After I heard Minus World I said to myself, "I hope Cave In releases an album that has hard and soft stuff on it - kinda like a split between their metal releases and their rock releases." Thank you Cave In. Sure it ain't perfect, but I love this. Oh, and if you like the harder stuff on this album - seriously, check out Old Man Gloom. Caleb does the bass and screaming for that crazy outfit too, but they rock like sludge metal should rock. Holla.

inagreendase (September 27, 2005)

you guys all think this is an actual cave in cd.....its just a collection of b-sides recorded around antenna

It's more or less a proper full-length if it showcases a full album of all-new material recorded in the same session(s).

bizzlebrizzle (September 27, 2005)

you guys all think this is an actual cave in cd.....its just a collection of b-sides recorded around antenna.....and they are still pretty good. but this definitely makes me think how there actually cd will sound.....

I thought they were recorded during the 2 years after Atenna actually, so to an extent it's not your average B-Sides record, but you're right, it's also not an actual Cave In record.

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

you guys all think this is an actual cave in cd.....its just a collection of b-sides recorded around antenna.....and they are still pretty good. but this definitely makes me think how there actually cd will sound.....

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

i'm pretty stoked on this record. i'm not really going to worry about comparing it with old cave in or see what mixtures of other cave in stuff this sounds like...bottom line, it's awesome. caleb's screaming reminds me alot of sean ingram.

sickboi (September 27, 2005)

"Antenna" was sooo boring. I mean a louder version of snore-core.

I may check this out, I may not.

superdude (September 27, 2005)

Dear Cave In,

Look out!

But enough about me, let's talk about you, and if you're still shy, let's talk about modern avalanche rescure systems.

Hey, remember when you took a firetruck to your high school prom? Yeah, I suppose, how could you ever forget?

I've been meaning to ask you, do you walk to school, or do you take a lunch?

Listen, I know we have a past, but your silence is starting to make me feel uncomfortable. Call me when you're ready to talk, you know my number.

Yours,
Superdude

OverDefined (September 27, 2005)

This record was recorded as demos for their second RCA release that never happened. RCA didn't like the songs ("where's the hit") and kept rejecting everything. Eventually RCA forgave their debt and paid them off. They then took these songs back to Hydrahead. Clouds didn't even really start happening til the beginning of the summer. Caleb was never "in" the Icarus Line, he was just filling in.

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

My thoughts on this album are something like "This is so half-assed... but I'm so retarded for Cave In that I keep listening to it"

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

Reading this review made me consider the fact that I should have reviewed this. Brian you did a good job, but its obvious your not as sick in the head with this band as I am. From a casual cave in fan's perspective you did really well. Upon listening to this record non stop for 4 months, I have concluded that the Perfect Pitch Black step in the evolution process of the band is just slightly lacking compared to their previous fucking brilliant recordings.

Stephen was doing New Idea Society. Caleb was doing Icarus Line. Adam was doing Clouds and Jr was injured. To me this recording sounds like a band that while possessing unbelievably intelligent and careful songwriters-was only operating on a part time basis. Part time Cave In is good enough to be better than 85% of the records put out this year. Take that Coheed, Avenged Sevenfold, Aiden, Silverstein, oh fuck I could go on.

Barkley

Mixhail (September 27, 2005)

Stephen Brodsky doesnt scream on this cd... Caleb the bassist does all that.

This cd sounds like an exact mix of Jupiter and Until Your Heart Stops... but its not as awesome as i thought it would be.

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

I'm so glad these guys distanced themselves from the hardcore/screamo thing waaay before it even became big. The stuff from creative eclipses to the present are about 5000 times better than the early stuff (and I liked the early stuff). And now I don't have to deal with assholes doing kickboxing at their shows anymore. Good stuff!

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

this is like the 9th cave in review i have read with the word egyption in it. is there any band that really sounds similar to cave in at all?

Anonymous (September 27, 2005)

fyi... the screaming on this album is done by the bass player, caleb. not stephen.

colton (September 27, 2005)

My iPod is gayer, it's not working.

Score is for iPod's reliability.

inagreendase (September 27, 2005)

Jones, you rule.

stevejonestherealbones (September 27, 2005)

this albums okay though. i think i like when he sings better than growls

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

stevejonestherealbones (September 27, 2005)

i think my mp3 player is a homosexual.

out of about 1000 songs on random, the last like ten in a row have been the gayest songs i own

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- i guess i should have known..ipod mini....pink

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