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jupiter
Cave In
Jupiter
Hydra Head

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I have been waiting for this record. Not because I had ever heard of Cave In, a four-piece who hail from Boston; I hadn't. I've been waiting for this record because I wanted something huge, something intense, something just absolutely killer to rave about to anyone within earshot. There is no feeling like watching your friends' eyes grow and jaws drop as you play them something new and bold, and this album will let you enjoy that feeling over and over.

For their third full-length release, Cave In have put together quite a remarkable rock album. A tremendous leap forward from 1998's Until Your Heart Stops in both production and songwriting, Jupiter's title track begins with a roiling glam passage before opening on a wide vista of tom rolls and slinky bass. Into this space slides Eastern-tinged guitar, which builds into a overwhelming chorus that sweeps you up into its flow. With their unusual melodic choices, angular song structures and falsetto vocals, Cave In brings to mind Shudder to Think. Heady and energetic, the music connects on the same deep, primitive plane that made Tool indispensable listening. Like Tool offshoot A Perfect Circle, Cave In marries compelling, innovative metal to art rock. Piecing together the ugly and the beautiful, the band heightens the effect of both. For example, the guitar during the verse of "In the Stream of Commerce" is harsh and shrill, making the massive juggernaut of a chorus all the more thrilling.

What astounds me time and again is the size of the music. Like the best Rush songs, tracks like "Brain Candle" and the appropriately-titled "Big Riff" are anthems that are simply so large, it is impossible to let them slide past. The sense of depth and weight holds even in the album's spacier moments. "Decay of the Delay" begins with a ringing ride before the guitar enters with a swaggering, old West sound. Reverb upon reverb, the song snakes along until the last traces of feedback fade into the distance. Even on Jupiter's quietest track, the closing "New Moon", the band uses the density of the music to further its feel. This song displays the bipolar nature of much modern rock by using a quiet, acoustic introduction and Thom Yorke-styled vocals to lull listeners into a tranquil state of mind. At its midpoint, however, the track explodes into a multi-colored nova of sound, pushing and pounding into an exhausting climax.

Act quickly: you will want to be the first kid on the block to blast this massive, thick, and wonderful forty-five minute orgy of rock.

-- Ron Davies
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