“It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” I believe that was the famous Bill Murray quote when asked his opinion on Cavernlight’s latest, As I Cast Ruin Upon The Lens That Reveals My Every Flaw (Translation Loss). Nah, I’m just having a bit of fun with Cavernlight. Or maybe I’m not considering that even though it won’t “last you for the rest of your life” (the album barely cracks the forty-minute mark) the cold and grey remarks certainly apply here.
Are you surprised that an album titled As I Cast Ruin Upon The Lens That Reveals My Every Flaw is about as cheerful as watching a 4:30 PM sunset at the heart of a New England winter? It’s music for the guy in your writing class who refers to himself as a poet. It’s a jam for the dude who pulls you aside at a party to talk about his replica World War II weapons. It may even be for the bloke who keeps insisting that only those with the highest IQs can truly appreciate the masterwork that is Rick and Morty.
That said, there are a few moments in which Cavernlight promises us some warmth like in the opening half of ‘Accepting the Fate I’ve Crafted’ or in the musical palate cleanser that is ‘Prelude.’ But those moments quickly dissipate, and the darkness takes hold with its droning guitars and a beat that never ventures anywhere further than mid-tempo. ‘Gaze into the Glow and Drift into Time’ paints the landscape of what to come with no melody or dynamics which I can totally understand appealing to certain folks, but over time that musical murkiness can begin to feel stale. ‘Material’ has a riff change that suggests that there are other notes to be played on the guitar, but Cavernlight has no care for any of that business. The goal here is to really stare into the abyss. Like get a real good look at it.
And if that abyss gazing is your thing, then more power to you. Just make sure to come up for fresh air every once in a while.
6 / 10