Labelled by some as Nu Metal, New Orleans based Cane Hill represent a handful of bands who in recent years have been resurrecting some of the principles and aesthetics from the millennium era music which has been subject to much mockery and hate within the Metal community. To my ears Cane Hill come forth on this sophomore record as a group still figuring out their identity, yet writing fun and cohesive music, wearing their influences proudly for all to see. They bring the best guitar work from Metalcore, Groove Metal and Nu Metal. It collides in a whirl of excitement with a spark of Industrial Metal in the noisy, full on wall of sound, giving these tunes a weighty clout of forceful metallic power with a dense aesthetic.
On first listen singer Elijah Witt makes a very distinctive performance with a variety of approaches to his presence that bares sometime uncanny resemblances to other Metal singers, his range can throw out fiery screams of vengeance to soaring, soft, soothing Chino alike "ohh"s on "Singing In The Swamp". The prior track "Lord Of Lies" chorus sounding like its pulled straight from the Masatdon catalog as his voice elevates the bouncy groove that rumbles and crunches away beneath. Echos of Corey Taylor can be heard but most noticeably Chad Gray of Mudvayne frequently dominating the tone of singing. The slower, crushing moody track "Erased" sounds completely akin to Cray's style in both the unleashing screams and introspective clean moments.
Its no criticism, Elijah has a wonderful talent that's perfectly complimentary to the instrumentals. Being a fan of these bands the record became immediately inviting and appealing. Behind him the chemistry is tight, shuffling bombastic grooves drive the music from the driving seat of drummer Devin Clark who has a knack for finding the right intensity to direct the atmosphere. The guitar work explores all the tropes of the aforementioned genres, slamming in with big chords, chugging gritty grooves and plenty of greasy guitar dissonance with the splicing of harmonics and squeals. The occasional break downs echo some Deathcore ideals but the eruption of racy, dexterous guitar solos keep the music feeling like it can go anywhere and not hedge itself in to one particular vision.
At thirty five minutes with a ripe pallet of ten energetic songs, Gone To Far is an impressive release that shows a ton of promise for the group. I would be somewhat critical to say there is a lack originality or something definitively new about their music but the ability to bring together the best of Metal's most criticized era and make lively music, brimming with excitement, is something to behold. Depending on what the group go on to do next, this could be seen as either a high point, or just an old record that proved they always had it. Definitely going to be keeping up with this band in the future!
Favorite Tracks: Erased, Why?, It Follows