Caves of Steel is a Norwegian instrumental act from the country's capital. Although Norway is undoubtedly associated primarily with black metal, the Norwegian scene is actually much more varied than you might expect, and Caves of Steel is the living proof that Norway has more than just black metal to enjoy.
On their latest EP Troposphere/Magnetosphere the Norwegian quartet treat the listener to dreamy instrumental post-rock which is both compelling and entrancing.
Operating with lush textures colored with shades of melancholy as their main framework, Caves of Steel nonetheless make their music varied, drawing on elements from different indie and underground genres. Thus, 'Last Citizen of the USSR' features the heavy edge of post-metal, while 'Lisa Nowak Love Story' has a slight touch of electronica. 'Venera' and 'Gemini XII', which are probably my favorites on this EP, are quite different from each other, capturing the diversity of the album quite well. 'Venera' is a quite melodic affair, which is also characterized by almost the same sort of psychedelia associated with 70s rock (except, thankfully, Caves of Steel's version of rock psychedelia is less dense), while 'Gemini XII' is uptempo and has a drive not unlike that of very early U2. 'Honey Trap' take us back to 70s rock territory, combining this with a hard rock sensibility, and adding a denser psychedelic feel.
Expressive and progressive, Troposphere/Magnetosphere belongs to the category of post-rock that I tend to enjoy the most, because Caves of Steel not only focus on atmosphere, but also aim at having some substance in their music. And, most important of all, Caves of Steel retain the spirit of rock throughout the album.
Fans of modern progressive rock and experimental instrumental music should definitely check out this EP, which is also likely to appeal to fans of indie rock, alternative rock and post-rock.
1. Last Citizen of the USSR
2. Lisa Nowak Love Story
4. Gemini XII
5. Honey Trap