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A summary of Caina's range and development - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, December 18th, 2012

News that Caina has become active again has made for an early Christmas this year. You can never predict how much you'll miss a band until you realise it's actually split. This was the case with Caina for me. In the meantime I've been listening to some of this act's minor releases as opposed to the full-length album recordings, some of which I still love playing and never tire of. This self-titled EP kept the flag flying for fans between "Temporary Antennae" which had been released in 2008 and the massive double-set "Hands that Pluck" in 2011.

The EP looks back to Caina's early years when it was more obviously melodic post-metal rock but there's still a lot of black metal influence in the style, especially in tracks like "The Approaching Chastisement" which features trilling guitar chords throughout and "To Pluck the Night Up by its Skin" which balances beautiful melancholy in some of its melodies with a noisy rhythm guitar accompaniment, spoken voice recordings and a harsh raspy vocal. Lyrics range in subject matter from (I think) loss and foreboding at a coming age of darkness and despair ("Drilling the Spire") to hope ("To Pluck the Night Up by its Skin").

The last track "You Worship the Wrong Carpenter" is completely unexpected: it's heavily synthesiser-based but still very melodic and possessing a strong metal edge. The synth tones are beautiful silvery-toned siren creatures calling out against a background of warm violin-like washes, a looping percussion rhythm (which is sometimes a bit too heavy and lumbering for the music), repetitive jangling guitar and jagged metal noise that appears now and again. The second half of the track bursts forth with waterfalls of near-joyful metal guitar noise which reveal glimpses of near-desperation, as though these last bouts of happiness will soon end, never to reappear. The sparkling jangly guitar rhythm loop takes on a wistful air as it continues almost to the end. This piece definitely looks ahead to some of the music that appears on Caina's last album "Hands that Pluck" before the band became dormant.

In its own way this EP is well-named as it's like a summation of Caina's musical development over several years and for that reason serves as an ideal introduction to the band's work, range of musical styles and themes.