Cave – Out of the Cave (Metalapolis Records)

Wednesday, 13th March 2024
Rating: 8.5 / 10

A newer band consisting of seasoned musicians across Germany and the United States, Cave combines elements of melodic hard rock and dramatic heavy metal influences for this debut album Out of the Cave. Originator Chris Lorey (Ivanhoe, Scenes) assembled members with experience from acts like Chinchilla and Symphorce – as well as the potent vocal mastery of Ronny Munroe (ex-Metal Church, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Vicious Rumors) to round out this lineup. You’ll get decades of experience siphoned into an eleven-track record that shines like a diamond – bristling with classy hooks, dramatic emotional musical passages, and the natural finesse necessary to keep listeners engaged through numerous playbacks.

The execution of versatility between the more commercial offerings along with heavier cuts ensures dynamic contrast plus less worry over ear fatigue. Adding in a specific narrative/soundbite sequence in the middle of “Send For My Soul” or bright acoustic guitar picking next to the electric, progressive shuffling passages to “Sizzling Seas” are two examples where the unexpected works for supplemental depth to the songs at hand – the latter a shining moment vocally for Ronnie’s higher register supremacy. While many bands would save the longest cut for the finale, “Blinded” at just over eight minutes appears as the fifth song on the track list – it’s reflective piano parts, theatrical atmosphere, circular / momentum building guitar layers, and fluid drum shifts to a calmer conclusion a sure-fire highlight, especially to those who love the work of Savatage or Masterplan. At other points Chris’ keyboard / guitar work recalls the Hagar-era Van Halen or Empire-oriented Queensrÿche period of the mid 80’s to early 90’s – opener “Rat in a Hole” as well as “New Found King” tailor made for the big arenas. A robust production captures a sound that isn’t dated – hopefully turning younger generations onto a style that may be considered classic at this point, but still has vital components well worth hearing today.

Those deep in the melodic hard rock/metal game may remember names such as Psyco Drama, Glenmore, or Letter X – beyond the already mentioned acts, that’s what Cave seems to express stylistically for their first record Out of the Cave. Hopefully this will be a group that develops new records consistently – as we need more acts that push this genre into great songwriting matched with killer performances like what we have here.

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