Stephen Brodsky

Album Review: Cave In- Heavy Pendulum

Cave In are a band that have weathered every storm you can think of as a band. And no matter what is thrown at them, be it life lessons and tragedies, Cave In always comes out on top and armed with a sense of passion and delivery that most bands would and should be envious of. What Stephen Brodsky, Adam McGrath, JR Conners and Nate Newton have put together on their new album, Heavy Pendulum, they should not only be proud of but this album sets the band on a whole new journey of triumphs to be had and stages to rock.

Heavy Pendulum is an album that has one hell of an ebb and flow just like an album should. All the classic Cave In elements are here along with some new twists and turns. As the album begins with “New Reality” it’s obvious the guys are looking to move on from what they have been through and using this a new way to set forth a new path for the band. This track not only sets the tone for the album, the riffs attack with a sense of urgency similar to that of the Perfect Pitch Black era. The melodic leads provide the right amount of ear candy to wet your Brodsky/McGrath guitar appetite. The album continues at a pace that draws you in more and more with lush sound scapes, sick riffs, rhythms that will get you up rocking and maybe dancing a bit, top notch melodies not just vocally, lyrics that are reflective, deep and provide a bit more closure, and a sense that this album really just re-kickstarted a band that is just scratching the surface of where they can go now.

The 14 songs that make up Heavy Pendulum swing ferociously. From all the heavy riffs to the mid tempo drops and the more delicate moments, this album has most definitely earned its spot within the top 5 albums of 2022. I could go track by track which I did when I was listening to the album but, I really believe that takes away from your listening experience. Instead I will point out a few of my favorite tracks like “Blood Spiller,” “Floating Skulls,” “Heavy Pendulum,” “Amaranthine,” “Nightmare Eyes” and the closing song “Reckoning” which I must say Adam McGrath absolutely shines on this song.

The addition of Nate Newton to the band is very present throughout the album. His tone, style of play and passion for this band radiates through each song. After I heard the news of Caleb Scofield’s passing, I knew the only person that could ideally fill his shoes was Nate and not only has he honored Caleb but he’s continued on with same drive for the band that he had. When you hear the parts of the songs that would be “Caleb moments,” Nate drives those parts home with a sense of gusto that I’m sure would make Caleb smile.

Cave In has made an album that not only sums up their career but sets the foundation for where they can keep going. There isn’t one moment on this album that feels forced or makes you want to change a song. The whole album captures the listener like an album should. Heavy Pendulum isn’t just another Cave In album, this one is one that was destined to be made and the end result is something beyond tremendous. Personally, I can’t wait to hear these songs take on a new life when played live. Cheers to Stephen, Adam, JR, and Nate for creating one of the best albums of 2022 as well as one of the best albums in the Cave In catalog.


Overall Rating: A

Cave In- Heavy Pendulum:

By: Brian Lacy

New Release: Converge (Blood Moon)- Coil

As they prepare for the release of their collaborative new album— featuring Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisholm and Stephen Brodsky, Converge have unveiled the second single from Bloodmoon: I, “Coil.” Speaking on the song, Jacob Bannon comments, “’Coil’ turned out to be one of my favorite songs I’ve ever been a part of. There is an infectious slow build that ends up becoming theatrical in tone. Lyrically it was a true collaboration, with all of us expanding on each other’s ideas as they came to be. I believe Chelsea’s vocal was the starting point in that for this one. Kurt really pushed vocal harmonies to a new level as well. Encouraging many of Steve’s ideas while we were in the studio tracking together. This one really has everyone of us firing on all cylinders creatively.” When you hear this song, you’ll get it. It’s such a tremendous track. I personally can’t wait for this album. Ever since they performed at Roadburn I’ve been waiting for this to finally come to fruition. Bloodmoon: I, out November 19th on CD/Digital and on Vinyl June 24th.


Converge- Coil:

Converge- Blood Moon:

Live Review: Quicksand at The Troubadour

Quicksand in West Hollywood at Troubadour

A couple weeks back I made a very bold statement that, “2021 is the year of Quicksand” and last night cemented that for me. I’ve long wanted to see Quicksand live since I first heard Slip way back when and now, that wish came true. Seeing Walter Schreifels, Sergio Vega, Alan Cage rock out was superb and the icing on the cake of them having Cave In/Mutoid Man/etc guitarist/vocalist Stephen Brodsky as their second guitarist just made it all something spectacular.

The moment the lights went down and the projections on the backdrop started, the frenzy of the crowd began to rev up and the second the first note of “Inversion” from their new and absolutely killer album, Distant Populations started, everyone knew, it was ON!!!. Plowing down the audience with the four songs off their new album immediately was tremendous. Just when you thought they were going to play the whole album (which they did) they burst into “Fazer” and there was no looking back. The setlist for the night was so good. Playing all of Distant Populations along with choice cuts from Slip, Manic Compression and Interiors, Quicksand could do no wrong. They even did a wonderful job covering My Bloody Valentine’s “Don’t Ask Why” and now I want to just listen to their version from now on. Hearing songs like the ones above along with “Colossus,” “Thorn In My Side,” “Dine Alone,” “Brown Gargantuan,” “Phase 90,” “Unfulfilled” and so many more was like being on cloud 9. There was no chance I could stand still. It’s a good thing I haven’t cut my hair in a while so I could head bang along like a crazy person. Watching Quicksand live is something everyone in a band should do. They had so much energy emitting from the stage it was contagious. You could tell these guys really enjoy playing. The chemistry of the four guys on stage was astounding. You can tell that Walter, Sergio and Alan are a tight unit. They play off each other so well. Adding Stephen Brodsky to the touring lineup was a perfect idea. His playing style and abilities really fit great in Quicksand. His mannerisms on stage too are so good. I really wish he could be a permanent member of Quicksand. I can only imagine how awesome the next album would be if he were a part of it.

Also playing this evening was Narrow Head and Creeps. Both bands had a very 90’s driven style with the latter sounding a bit more like Brand New. Both bands had solidly good sets and brought a lot of energy. The audience showed up early and that seemed to have a feeling that harked back to the days when people would show up to support all the bands on the bill. It’s always a nice thing to see bands like Quicksand bring out younger/up and coming bands on tour. It’s great to give them the opportunity to get their music out to as many people as possible.

Quicksand is the type of band that influences and inspires anyone that listens. Personally, I couldn’t even wind down when I got home from the show. That’s how good it was. Quicksand is a band that is essential listening and should be in your collection. I can’t wait for the next time Quicksand comes through Los Angeles. What a great show.

Quicksand Set List:

01) Inversion
02) Lightning Field
03) Colossus
04) Missle Command
05) Fazer
06) Thorn In My Side
07) Phase 90
08) Head To Wall
09) Don’t Ask Why (My Bloody Valentine Cover)
10) Under The Screw
11) Unfulfilled
12) Too Official
13) Illuminant
14) Warm And Low
15) The Philosopher
16) Compacted Infinity
17) Rodan
18) Omission
19) Brown Gargantuan
20) Katakana
21) Delusional
22) Dine Alone
23) Brushed

Review By: Brian Lacy

Quicksand- Distant Populations:

Cover Song: 2 Minutes To Late Night (Bjork)- Hyperballad

Björk's "Hyperballad" Gets Metal Cover From Members Of Deftones, Killswitch  Engage, Cave In, More: Watch

The great Two Minutes To Late Night is back with a new cover from their quarantine series. This one is really, really, really, damn good. Here you have a Bjork song “Hyperballad” covered by Stephen Brodsky (Cave In/Old Man Gloom/Mutoid Man) on vocals with Sergio Vega (Quicksand/Deftones) on bass, Adam D (Killswitch Engage/Times Of Grace) on guitar, Jordan “Gwarsenio Hall” Olds (host of 2MTLN) on guitar, Ben Chisholm (Chelsea Wolfe) on keys and Tanner Wayne (In Flames) on drums. It’s a great cover and Stephen Brodsky is absolutely amazing on this track. He’s really found a whole other voice which I hope carries over to all of his musical ventures.


Two Minutes To Late Night- Hyperballad (Bjork):

Bjork- Hyperballad:

Instrumental Songs: Cave In- Ataraxia

Ataraxia | Cave In

For the past couple weeks I’ve been on a Cave In kick. Actually it started back when Two Minutes To Late Night released the videos of their Splitsville series when Every Time I Die covered Cave In’s “Youth Overrided.” From that point, I’ve been delving back into the Cave In catalog. During this time I’ve spent a lot of time with the album Perfect Pitch Black. I remember when this album came out and how strikingly different it was from Antenna, and thankfully so. I do like Antenna a lot but, you can tell that there is something lacking about it in terms of energy and passion on certain songs. Perfect Pitch Black is a wonderful encompassing of everything Cave In had done to that point. It has the the grit and heaviness of Until Your Heart Stops, the spacey and proggy vibe of Jupiter, and the craftsmanship of Antenna. So many stand out songs are on PPD like “Trepanning,” “Off To Ruin,” “The World Is In The Way,” and “Screaming In Your Sleep.” One of the songs that has always stood out to me is the awesome instrumental track “Ataraxia.” This song is perfectly placed on the album and it gives the record a moment to reflect as you get swept away by the sea of rhythm and riffs. This is another great example of just how diverse and deep Cave In are.


Cave In- Ataraxia:

Cave In- Perfect Pitch Black:

Cave In (Led Zeppelin)- Dazed and Confused

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Many years ago, the mighty Cave In did something daring and courageous. They took on one of the greatest bands of all time and put their spin on one of their best songs. That band would be Led Zeppelin and the song was “Dazed and Confused.” Seeing as though Cave In is the type of band that is willing to take a chance and expand upon what they’ve done, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they would tackle such a song. Just listen to their opus that is Jupiter (which by the way just turned 20 years old this year). Not only did they pull it off in a great way, they even went as far as opening their sets with their version of it a few times in the early 00’s. If you are a lucky one out there that owns their Anomalies Volume 3, you get the almost 11 minute long version of it. This is just the 6 minute live version but, it’s worth every second you listen.

Cave In- Dazed and Confused (Live at Marquee Theatre 2003):

 

And just because it’s awesome, listen to Jupiter while you’re at it!

Cover Song Collaboration: Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, Primus, Tool, Mutoid Man (Rush)- Anthem

Two Minutes To Late Night Cover Rush

During this age of quarantine, there is a lot of free time on musicians hands.  Some are being very productive with writing new records and experimenting with new things. One of the things I’ve noticed is there is a huge flood of covers being done. A lot of them however are pretty meh and bland but, thankfully there is the people at Two Minutes To Late Night to save the day. Most recently, they conjured up a pretty impressive set of players to cover the Rush song “Anthem.” I’m not a big Rush fan but, this was too damn good not to share. Also if you haven’t seen the Rush documentary (I believe it’s still streaming on Netflix) you should check it out. It’s quite good. Anyways, this cover features Danny Carey of Tool on drums, Bill Kelliher of Mastodon on guitar, Les Claypool of Primus on bass, Stephen Brodsky of Cave In/Mutoid Man on guitar, Jordan Olds (aka Gwarsenio Hall) on guitar and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria on vocals. What a killer job they did on this. Enjoy!

 

 

 

2019 End Of The Year Lists: Best Guitar Duos

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Next up on Audioeclectica.com’s 2019 End Of The Year Lists, the Top 10 Guitar Duos. The stipulation is that, an album/EP had to have been released this year.

Vote for your favorite in the comments section. At the end of the month, I will release the results of the readers poll.

This list is also in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!!!

01) James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch- Korn
02) John Dyer Baizley and Gina Gleason- Baroness
03) Stephen Brodsky and Adam McGrath- Cave In
04) James Root and Mick Thompson- Slipknot
05) Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz- Killswitch Engage
06) Albert Navarro and Nathan Najera- Seizures
07) Joe Trohman and Scott Ian- The Damned Things
08) Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers- Rammstein
09) Chelsea Wolfe and Bryan Tulao- Chelsea Wolfe
10) Andrew Diaz and Matthew Wright- Harborlights

Best Albums Of 2019… So Far

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So the year is half over and there’s been quite a few really good albums to come out this year. So here’s my picks for the best albums of 2019… So Far. This list is also in no particular order. And if I missed any, let me know, I’m sure there are a few out there that I haven’t heard yet.

 

The Best Of 2019… So Far:

Moon Tooth- Crux
Cave In- Final Transmission
Glassing- Spotted Horse
Spotlights- Love & Decay
Baroness- Gold & Grey
Helms Alee- Noctiluca
Dalek- Respect To The Authors
The Damned Things- High Crimes
Low Dose- Low Dose
Rammstein- Rammstein
Brutus- Nest
Spirit In The Room- Volume 1
Stephen Brodsky & Marissa Nadler- Droneflower
Deathchant- Deathchant
Pinkish Black- Unification Concept
Pelican- Nighttime Stories
Mark Morton- Anesthetic
Soen- Lotus
Fact Pattern- Fallen Language

Album Review: Cave In- Final Transmission

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Since the start of their career, Cave In have always been the type of band to delve deep into themselves and deliver albums that compliment those feelings and emotions. So, it’s no surprise that on their new (and maybe final) album, Final Transmission, that all the grief and thoughts the surviving members of the band have are front and center.
Final Transmission is an album that is bittesweet all the while is pure and true to what they’ve always done.

Beginning with the title track “Final Transmission,” you automatcally feel the spirit of the late Caleb Scofield. The song is actually a voicemail left by Caleb following a writing/demo session, which features Scofield playing an acoustic guitar and singing a melody over it. From there the album moves to “All Illusion”  a song that features lyrics written by Scofield that was taken from a journal that was found after his death. This is  where the album takes a turn for the sound they all created on the highly acclaimed (and my favorite) album Jupiter. The guitar work by Adam McGrath is superb. He’s use of delay and heavy guitars is masterful. Mix that with singer/guitarist Steve Brodsky’s soaring vocals, and the ferocious rhythm section of drummer JR Conners and Caleb Scofield, and you have the perfect Cave In song. The song “Shake My Blood,” is one that will have you reaching for the box of tissues, as you think about the grief that wafted over each member of this band. Other stellar songs on this album include “Winter Window,” “Strange Reflection,” “Night Crawler” “Lanterna,” and the final track “Led To The Wolves” which is quite a poignant ending to a loving tribute to their fallen brother and friend.

 

Final Transmission was unintended to be released in its form, the band obviously was working on making a complete and full album before the passing of Caleb. There is a slight feeling of this being more of a collection of songs rather than an “album” but, the more you listen, the more it all starts to really gel. One thing that is lacking is the absence of Caleb’s screams which helped to give Cave In more of an aggressive edge as found on Perfect Pitch Black and White Silence. Still, It’s a collection of tracks that see a band who has been gone way too long deliver the goods and really make sure that this is something that Caleb would be proud of.
Overall Rating: A-

 

Cave In- Final Transmission:

 

Review By: Brian Lacy