Long Lost Cave In Album Sacrifice Poles Will Finally See the Light of Day
Cave In’s sonic sea change from 1998’s Until Your Heart Stops to 2000’s Jupiter is still among the most sudden, bizarre and controversial in modern rock music; I’m pretty sure there’s a small cadre of Cave In fans that are still angry about it, although I am most certainly not one of them (Jupiter is the Cave In record, as far as I’m concerned). What was going on in the members brains during those two years? Why did they ditch their hardcore roots almost entirely in favor of spaced out prog? Why settle on the sound that they did? So many questions!
The Creative Eclipses EP, released in 1999, provides something of an “in transition” look at the band during that time, as did Sacrifice Poles, comprised entirely of instrumental 4-track recordings from 1998-2000 and originally released on CD by Robodog Record in 2001. But here’s the thing with Creative Eclipses: I’ve spent plenty of time listening to that EP, and it sounds very much like proto-Jupiter. The transition had already taken place. So what about Sacrifice Poles, which, despite being a Cave In fanboy, I have somehow never heard before?
Robotic Empire has re-issued Sacrifice Poles, so we’ve all finally got a chance to check it out. And it’s… trippy! Psychedelic and jammy, even. The band is clearly experimenting with sounds and ideas that would inform the sound of Jupiter, yet — at least from the two tracks streamable via Bandcamp — there’s already no trace of the band’s fiery Until Your Heart Stops sound left. So the mystery continues! Maybe somewhere on this album there’s a song in which the old and the new butt right up against one another, but these two tracks certainly don’t make it seem that way. There’s a track here called “Brain Candle Waltz” that I’m assuming ended up turning into Jupiter’s “Brain Candle,” but it seems like Sacrifice Poles is more an album of ideas and jams than it is fully formed demos.
ANYWAY… the Sacrifice Poles reissue comes out on May 27th and be can pre-ordered digitally and on vinyl (limited to only 500 copies). A press release tells us that Robotic Empire held nothing back with the production of both versions: “Aaron Turner’s stark original artwork and layout has been meticulously re-created from archived artist proofs, for a 5-color silkscreened LP jacket printed by brethren at Broken Press. All audio for both vinyl and digital formats has been separately remastered by James Plotkin in 2014 for a warmer, fuller sound.” Get your hands on one now before they’re all gone.