When CANE HILL made themselves known towards the end of 2014 they were heralded as one of the main bands to bring back nu-metal. Their debut single Sunday School was a great blast of nu-metal nostalgia with some nice modern metalcore touches. Sadly their debut album Smile never quite lived up to the potential the band seemed to have. There was a huge amount of buzz and the reception was positive but it just felt like they were capable of more. While there doesn’t seem to be as much anticipation surrounding the follow up album, Too Far Gone, there is a lot riding on this album.
Too Far Gone starts off strongly with the band really embracing their nu metal inspirations. The title track sounds like it is straight out of the year 2000. While a lot of people will sneer at the genre there was plenty to love about nu metal and for the most part CANE HILL definitely fit in with the better bands. There is a real sense of familiarity to so much of what CANE HILL do without it just sounding like callbacks to the past. Lord Of The Flies is more radio metal but packs one of the albums standout choruses.
Singing In The Swamp changes things up a bit sounding moodier and has a bigger focus on melody. The album definitely aims to capture a really dark feel and this is best demonstrated on Erased. As vocalist Elijah Witt sings about his grandfather deteriorating due to dementia it’s the albums most emotionally powerful moments and is certainly one of the standout songs.
It’s not all dark and moody though and there are some moments that are really fun. It Follows certainly has massive potential as a single. Whilst Scumbag and Hateful offer the albums heaviest moments, Scumbag in particular is a two minute blast of hardcore fury addressing the state of things in America and the bands distaste for “Nazi fucking scum.” It’s just a shame that after these two songs the albums last two tracks are just so forgettable.
Elijah really is the star of this album as his personality is all over every song. That’s not to say the other members just sit back, guitarist James Barnett provides some brilliant riffs throughout the album. And as a unit they work really well together to create the right mood for each song.
Too Far Gone isn’t without its flaws. Even though it isn’t a particularly long album it still runs out of steam a bit towards the end. But there is nothing as bad as the worst moments on Smile. It’s step in the right direction for the band and if they can develop the best moments on this album then their next one might be their defining work. Too Far Gone still worth checking out if you grew up on nu-metal or are a fan of what’s going on in metalcore now.
Too Far Gone is out now via Rise Records.
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