Final Transmission, the latest album from Massachusetts natives Cave In marks the end of an era for the band, featuring the final contributions of band member Caleb Scofield, following his untimely death in early 2018 as a result of a tragic car accident. As one can imagine, it’s a varied and emotionally charged affair, with the ghost of Scofield haunting every aspect of these eleven tracks.
Opener and title track ‘Final Transmission’ is a bittersweet and intimate introduction – a voice recording sent to the band by Scofield of him humming a gentle melody over a strummed acoustic guitar, an idea in progress for a new song that would never be completed. Indeed, much of what is on this album was never planned to be released as it appears here at all, with every track bar the title track being a remastered version of the final demos the band recorded with Scofield.
‘All Illusion’, the first track to be released from the album is similarly touching, featuring Scofield’s only lyrical contribution to the album, the words having been pulled from one his journals that were found after his death and used here with the blessing of his wife. It’s a soaring, melancholy tinged tune which gets under the skin and features some gorgeous vocal melodies from Stephen Brodsky. Other highlights include the spacey, fuzz drenched ‘Lunar Day’, epic riff -led ‘Winter Window’ and the towering, majestic melodies of ‘Shake My Blood’.
Where the album opened with a whisper, it closes with a scream courtesy of the fantastically raucous juggernaut ‘Led To The Wolves’. The majority of the song was composed by Scofield and is filled to the brim with jagged riffs and crashing drums, a fitting end to not only the album but also a powerful testament to Scofield’s legacy. Whilst arguably not the best introductory point for those new to Cave In, for long term fans this is a bittersweet treasure trove of material that highlights everything about the band that made them so special in the first place.
Final Transmission is released on 7th June via Hydra Head Records and can be purchased here
Words: Adam Pegg