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Cave In was one of my absolute favorite bands growing up—ten years ago, their blend of space-prog and heavy metal sounded cutting-edge. Today, though, it just kind of sounds dated. The juxtaposition of hooky, melodic alternative rock and bombastic riffage feels awkward in 2012, because similar pop-metal mashups have been adopted by bands like Torche, who've tightened up the sound, turning it into precise, succinct "thunder pop" tunes. This same formula, in the hands of misguided suburban teenagers, can also result in abominations like Attack Attack! and Design the Skyline, two bands that I'm not completely convinced aren't part of an elaborate practical joke being played on the music-loving public. (If you're unfamiliar with them, think about it this way: You know how Spider-Man's motto is, "With great power comes great responsibility?" These are incredibly irresponsible bands.)
When I found out that Cave In had a newish record, I downloaded it. White Silence came out a little less than a year ago on Hydra Head Records, and I'm going to be completely honest: it's not very good. The band seems to be simply rehashing a style they were once the kings of, with what sounds like little effort. It lacks spirit and heart—to my ears at least, the songs are just kind of there. The one exception, however, is White Silence's centerpiece, the eight-minute "Sing My Loves." Punishing, doomy sludge makes way for a beautiful, shimmering climax that I haven't been able to get out of my head all week.