(Album Review) “Aurora” by CAVE OF SWIMMERS

‘Aurora’ is the new album from the Miami based duo Cave of Swimmers. Having made a name for themselves as a doom-prog band with a love of sharp guitar leads, the upcoming release sees a new side from the band. Fans of the experimental and unusual will be interested in this!

The new album takes a strong melodic turn; ‘The Sun’ is a striking track with the interplay of melodies across the vocals and instruments. The vocals in particular have a powerful melodic element with intense vibrato. The guitar solo is ludicrously intricate, probably to be expected, but is followed by a calmer section of leads harmonising the track’s dominant melody line. There are plenty of progressive elements throughout. The track goes through a number of sections after the guitar solo including a key change, and a few other musical developments before finding its way back to the chorus. ‘Double Rainbow’ has one of those fantastic lead riffs that gets inside your head and stays there. It’s incredibly catchy and wonderfully bass focused with a lovely raw edge to the tone of the instruments playing it. The chorus on this track has a great soaring aspect to it, whilst the distinctive bass rhythm remains present underneath.

‘Looking Glass’ has a good energy with an  powerful chord sequence – it gives a uplifting  atmosphere. The low tones of the instruments take more prominence in the verse so that when the chorus kicks in it packs more of a punch and delivers a full sound. The Spanish Flamenco inspired lead – performed on both acoustic and electrics guitars adds an extra something else into the mix. Then heavier guitars switching between the major and minor introduce a darker element. It’s an eclectic combination of ideas explored in a relatively small space, and yet, somehow, the song works it’s way back to the chorus seamlessly! The final track, ‘C.S’, takes the album in yet another direction beginning as a ballad. The melodies and harmonies complement each other wonderfully, creating a relaxing and serene soundscape. The sudden transition into hard rock influenced section creates quite a contrast. It works ending the album on a more energetic note, and having two distinctive halves of the track are impactful. Compared to the vast array of experimentation across previous tracks on the album, it feels a little too tame for an ending.

This album goes on quite a journey through various musical genres and styles. The diversity keeps you on your toes eagerly awaiting whatever may come next. The duo are clearly very talented in the way they can combine so many ideas into their tracks and yet still maintain a cohesive feel throughout.

Releases on February 23 via BroomTune Records

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Author: Holly Royle

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