Artist – Chiodos
Album – Illuminaudio
Year – 2010
Genre – Post-Hardcore
If any of you are familiar with Chiodos at all, you might be surprised to find I’ve picked a song not featuring Craig Owens, the original and recently reinstated lead singer. I personally love many songs Craig has done, and if you’re not familiar with Chiodos I highly recommend all of Craig’s work, but “Caves” absolutely blows me away every time I hear it. I personally think it’s the best song Chiodos has ever produced.
Drums, drums, drums. This song is all about the drums. I have to give a shoutout to drummer Tanner Wayne, who unfortunately left the band after this album, but boy does he make an impression. The drums that assault your ears from the beginning are absolutely huge sounding and he nails some very difficult rhythms. Right after a blistering drum intro, you hear the really cool repeated hook melody for the first time. It’s a hook unlike anything you’ve heard before; a dark, minor key chant that really makes the song stand out and be heard.
The singer for this album, Brandon Bolmer, does an absolutely fantastic job at both singing, screaming, and everything in between. His voice floats high at first, but then the song absolutely explodes, and Bolmer sing/screams over a wall of thumping drums and powerful guitar chords. For each verse, the backing guitar echoes and shines over the thunder of the drums.
Every chorus is just enormous sounding. The guitar will have you headbanging for sure, and the chord progression just works on every level. Bolmer lets it all out here, but strap yourselves in. This band isn’t done yet.
The post chorus, or I guess the bridge section, is mind blowing. Just listen to the drums on this part. Tanner Wayne hits rhythms that completely go against the time signature of the song but somehow fit right into place. It’s hard to explain the sound, but you’ll know when you hear it. What makes it even cooler is that these fills are played over the opening chant, so with the pace now picked up it sounds even better than before.
There’s another fiery chorus, then another neat post chorus section with Bolmer using great vocal dynamics and more guitar and drum awesomeness, and that’s a technical term for those who didn’t know. What really gets me is the final chant section, with Bolmer adding all his passion on it. Instead of a “doo” he adds a full on “OH” to it, which just pumps you up, even though the song is coming to a close. With all the instruments dropping out before one last soaring chorus, you know it’s going to be a strong finish, and it is. The drums go nuts, and the song closes by displaying the talent of all involved in this song. A well deserved end if there ever was one.
Chiodos’ “Caves” may not be the most orthodox choice for my first Chiodos review, but it earns every ounce of praise it gets. It’s motivational message and breathtaking instrumentation amp you up like no other of their songs, and though the musicians on this record were short lived, they proved they could not only hold their own against the stigma of Owens’ departure, but they could thrive and truly create a song that embodied every principle that Chiodos stood for. Don’t miss this one, rock/metal fans!
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