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Cave Of Swimmers: Reflection

In the name stakes, Cave Of Swimmers got left in the uninspired barrel, three words strung together which neither give any indication of what the band are about, or compel you delve in further to find out. And that's a shame, for Reflection is an interesting, if at times patience stretching release. One thing this outfit don't lack for is ambition, everything from 70s hard rock to prog via spaced out sections and extreme metal, rolled into a doom package and displayed in all its glory. The lengthy opener, "The Prince Of The Power Of The Air" is a prime example, as slow errieness introduces proceedings, before a steamrolling riff shouts Uriah Heep meets Candlemass. Then the mid section squeezes out a Rush moulded with Zeppeln via Maiden instrumental barrage that's mightily impressive and hugely focused. "The Skull" however doesn't really know how to react, powerful guitars ducking, diving and spiralling. However the vocals, unlike on the previous song where Ozzy is loosely evoked, suddenly become pretentious faux opera, and suggest an outfit that need to know when they're on to a good thing and when they're not. But that guitar line? Inspired! And again the extended instrumental section is impressive.

If you're looking for some lyrical insight then that's a struggle as well, "The Prince..." simply repeating the same four lines over and over and over, "The Skull" not much more enlightening. "Still Running" however is a more rounded offering, a downbeat, yet engaging insight into the swimmer's cave of thoughts. Although the pounding drums that hit at extreme metal pace seem to have been shoehorned in for the sheer sake of it, while the vocals are unsteady, if less annoying which again is a real shame when you hear the quality surrounding it. The instrumental "Reflection" closes out this long EP/short album in fine style, once more the full stylistic gamut run, but this time without the, will they be great, will they simply grate on the nerves, vocals.

Elements of Reflection are nothing short of superb, yet others verge into the area of, at best, questionable. Hence frustration is the key emotion Cave Of Swimmers leave you with so much promised, at times so little delivered. However when they hit the doom laden sweet spot, this band are as good as any out there. Whether the lows outweigh the highs is the question and even after living with this Reflection for quite some time, all that's staring back is confusion...

Track Listing
1. The Prince of the Power of the Air
2. The Skull
3. Still Running
4. Reflection (Instrumental)

Added: October 17th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Cave Of Swimmers on BandCamp
Hits: 1440
Language: english

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