My first impression of Cane Hill was ‘as if someone mashed together IOWA-era Slipknot with generous helpings of Korn and Taproot’! While I refused to give myself the benefit of the doubt, for missing out on the Cane Hill’s debut record, the single “Lord of Flies” had my interest piqued. Suffice to say, having spun the entire track list of the second full-length offering from Cane Hill, “Too Far Gone” I have discovered a new artist to visit and revisit again.
Vocalist Elijah Witt is adept in shifting his styles from a low, ominous rasp to higher pastures of pseudo-clean, pre-choruses. The growls, screams and screeches are selectively peppered across each track, demonstrating the brilliance of the arrangements and the noteworthy production value. The tracks “Lord of Flies” and “Erased” are perfect examples of these aforementioned qualities. “Why?” bears unmistakable signs of Korn’s song templates, and unless the band dismisses that notion as otherwise, I intend to cling on to it! Anthematic, mature, and the one to look out for “Why?” gets close competition from the tracks “Scumbag” and “The End”.
In spite of their best efforts to not get lumped into the Nu-Metal category, Cane Hill has unsuspectingly become one of the familiar sounds representing the sub-genre in, recent times. Not sure, why any kind of Metal should need mass-approval unilaterally, but Cane Hill certainly does not care any longer about whom they are synonymous with. They have dexterously gone about their business of redefining Nu-Metal in their chaotic fashion, experimental, banal, and chockful of industrial (soundscapes).
Tracks like “Erased”, “Why?” and “The End” have won further favor in the books of yours truly with some exemplary song-crafting. There is no strict adherence to melody or clean-singing, but the spoken word choruses make the guitar-hooks stand out. One would be remiss to say that the ones mentioned here specifically are the only tracks worth your moolah; the entire album is a brilliant start to ‘Metal in 2018’. This is not balls-to-the-wall, leather-jacket and camo pants Metal; this is a multi-faceted, dissonant, industrial barn-burner of a record!
Cane Hill is a promising outfit and given their nascent status, deserves all the attention and hype they can muster. If “Too Far Gone” is the kind of shtick that the band usually adheres too, then they might build an impressive resume in the years to come.