Shake My Blood
Led to the Wolves
There’s a sadness that shades Final Transmission, the sixth album from Massachusetts post-hardcore combo Cave In. Recorded in the aftermath of longtime bassist Caleb Scofield’s death in a 2018 car crash, the band’s first studio LP in eight years is both haunted by his absence and touched by his presence: Scofield appears on each song, most affectingly on the title track, a polished demo he sent to his bandmates shortly before his passing. The other eight tracks are no less powerful or moving. The intense downward tug of “All Illusion,” the spiraling guitars on “Winter Window,” the heavy prog of “Strange Reflection”—each track revisits the peaks of the band’s creative journey while still sounding fresh and new, like a life flashing before one’s ears. When Stephen Brodsky implores, “No one leave/No one leave to say goodbye” in the stirring “Shake My Blood,” it’s as much a command to come together as a plea against drifting apart. Should this indeed be Cave In’s swan song as its members gravitate back to their other projects, Final Transmission will stand as a more-than-fitting celebration of a band well lived.