Cane Hill – ‘Kill the Sun’ [EP] (8.5/10)
When CANE HILL made themselves known towards the end of 2014 they were foreshadowed as one of the main bands to bring back nu-metal. Not that the genre had ever really left, of course. 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 so much more. While there didn’t seem to be as much anticipation surrounding the follow up album, ‘Too Far Gone’, I feel they went all out and are really finding their identity. Back with their new EP ‘Kill the Sun’ to be released via Rise Records on January 18th 2019, this may make or break CANE HILL.
‘Kill the Sun’ opens with track ‘86d – No Escort’ and I am shocked, Elijah echoes, “hey, don’t worry about it, hey, don’t want to learn your name” with an electronic vibe, but as soon as the track starts up and really gets into it, the theatrics begin and it transitions into an acoustic style track, with electronic elements subtly in there. With the drums kicking in now, but by no stretch of the means is this the ‘CANE HILL’ that any of us know, this could be an interesting EP.
Following the opening track ‘Empty’ follows on from the acoustic feel, with some super soft vocals from Elijah, with an almost Latin vibe to it instrumentally. When the track really gets into it, towards three quarters into it, there is a neat solo in there too.
Surely this isn’t even Cane Hill, right? Wrong. Track three, halfway into the EP now and ‘Save Me’ starts into another easygoing, acoustic ballad type of song, I am starting to ask myself if I have the right EP, but it certainly is. Honestly, I am lost for words on how different this is to any of their earlier stuff, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Surely, they can’t keep this up through their whole EP, or maybe it is a different style that they want to venture into.
Lead single ‘Kill the Sun’ starts with Elijah repeating, ‘’I think I’ve found a way to kill the sun’’, it suddenly hits me that this wasn’t just a ploy to throw us off where Cane Hill were going with this EP, just the direction that they maybe want to take in the near future, so were just releasing an EP to see how it went down with their earlier fans. Either way, I am a huge fan of the style and the route they have taken with this, brave move, and it is paying off. It really shows off Elijah’s voice, and the range he can fulfil.
Penultimate track, ‘Acid Rain’ sets an ominous feeling in terms of lyrics, with them being dark, however this is one of their more powerful tracks vocally, but by no stretch of the means any way near what ‘Too Far Gone’ was last year. If I was to summarise this track up with one word, I would call it moody.
Ending the EP with ‘Smoking Man’ was a smart move, to me, it’s almost as if ‘Too Far Gone’ went acoustic, but kept everything in instrumentally, just toned down, and it sure does work! Even the ending they have kept their distorted, eerie tones in there.
To summarise, ‘Kill the Sun’ is fantastic! Such a game changer for CANE HILL and a massive step up from their previous LP ‘Too Far Gone’. They have stayed true to themselves in terms of lyrics, however just completely changed their sound, which is why they’ve earned a high rating of 8.5. It almost feels that this is a completely new band, but these aren’t just any ordinary band, these lads have talent, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Cane Hill. With a strong influence from Alice In Chains’ Jar Of Flies EP, the band’s future is extremely bright.