Album Review: Cain- Into Abyss

cain2Anyone from the Buffalo area that’s familiar with this band, already knows what their new album, Into Abyss is going to sound like. If you picked up The Ravaging a few years back, feel free to use it as a reference. Cain is one of the most focused, no nonsense bands to ever grace Buffalo’s metal scene and Into Abyss picks up exactly where The Ravaging left off. All that being said, the new Cain album is textbook death and thrash metal, masterfully fused together by 3 well versed, genre professionals. Not to mention, 3-piece bands rule. Consider how many fewer headaches there must be at band practice, compared to most 4 to 6-piece bands. There’s also something to be said for the raw and honest quality that comes pouring out of a righteously talented 3-piece outfit like Cain. These guys prove time and time again that they don’t need additional members, nor layers upon layers of backtracks to deliver killer recordings and live shows.

As for this new album, Into Abyss is 7 songs deep, filled with maddening riffs, gritty and shrill harsh vocals, cool bass guitar breaks, ridiculously fast thrash drumming and criminally insane lead guitar. One song in particular stands out when I refer to the lead guitar work as “criminally insane”. There’s nothing overly technical anywhere on this album, but as you’ll hear, things get very creative very quickly. In track 5, “Cyber Humans”, there’s a triple guitar harmony tap part that I love. Nothing screams “robots are taking over the world” more than fast dissonance like this.

Not to mention, Into Abyss is also home to a 13 minute track, which is a bold endeavor for a 3-piece thrash band, but Cain naturally does it nicely. It goes by the same name as the album and kicks off with some excellent tom work and into some nice mid-paced dark/foreboding riffing. I’m an intense sci-fi nerd, so I find the title track, “Into Abyss” to be incredible, lyrically. The words take up almost 2 full pages in the CD booklet and carry lines like, “Astronautics run their course, surging now with cosmic force, into abyss.” or “We are a celestial race, beings which you cannot understand, galactic travelers of both time and space, light years beyond your race of man.”. But the one that takes the cake is, “We’ve seen the evil in your mind, watching closely from the sky, you’ve left us no choice, it’s come to this, to plunge your entire world into abyss.” I can’t help but think the original The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) played some inspirational role in the writing of this song, but I’m probably wrong. I’m also a sucker for melodic death guitar and epic sounding musical progressions in general, so since this song has some of the most epic riffing I’ve ever heard from this band, it’s my top track, by far.

Other noteworthy tracks are track 2, “Evilution”- a very catchy tune I’ve become familiar with live over the last year or so. If you follow Cain, you’ve definitely heard it a few times. It’s almost 8 minutes long, but it has the most driving and recognizable riffs in Cain‘s arsenal, in my opinion. Track 3, “The Necromancer”, also fucking rips and was released as the first single for Into Abyss. I’ll include the lyric video below. There are huge opportunities for crowd participation with this one. “Long live the dead!”

Locally, if you’re a fan of Cain’s previous releases or just about anything Hellcannon has put out, you’ll love this entire album. In terms of bigger acts, fans of Slayer, Rush, Vader, Death or Venom should also give Cain a listen.

Cain are:

Eareckson Murray – Guitars/lead vocals
Bryant Morrison – Drums/lead vocals
Zack DeMarzio – Bass Guitar

Into Abyss was recorded by Joe Leising at Rotten Metal Studios in North Tonawanda, NY. The album will be formally released at Vile Records Open Air Fest in Sanborn, NY on August 19. 2017.

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