ALBUM REVIEW: Cane Hill take major step forward on Too Far Gone

“Cane Hill’s sophomore record is a genuine and matured effort that is going to make a dent in the heavy metal scene in 2018. Too Far Gone is a brutal, vicious and aggressive trip into the minds of Cane Hill as they struggled through their experiences of the last year.”

Gearing up to release their sophomore album on Jan., 19, Too Far Gone, Louisiana’s own Cane Hill intend to continue making their mark on the heavy metal genre with an interesting, yet exhilarating follow up to 2016’s Smile.

Smile was highly regarded by critics across the board, being proclaimed as one of “The Best Debut Albums of 2016,” while receiving honors at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods, the KERRANG! Awards and the Alternative Press Music Awards.

If Smile created a footprint for Cane Hill in the metal scene with an explosive debut, then Too Far Gone is the quartet taking its first step towards making a significant dent next to the greatsof the genre.

Cane Hill got a lot of flak on the release of their music video for “(The New) Jesus”, as well as their promotion of the single by creating a new version of the Ten Commandments for the modern day, catching criticism on social media from fans and the like. They approach the release of their second record more conservatively, by simply releasing four tracks prior to its release.

Lead vocalist Elijah Witt experiments more with softer vocals on Too Far Gone, rather than relying on the harsh vocals that are ever present on Smile. This change gives more versatility, and depth, to the new record. The subtle change sounds natural, not forced, and actually helps to benefit consistency across the album.

The majority of criticism that came from Smile was it’s lack of consistency, as well as immature tracks that made pieces of the album hard to listen to. Too Far Gone eliminates the immaturity and grotesque nature found on their debut album, ditching the need for shock value in exchange for quality composition.

What hasn’t changed is the transparency that comes with Cane Hill, and their influences from metal legends Slipknot and Alice in Chains, but it’s a little too evident on tracks like “Singing In The Swamp”, which sounds like a direct ode to the former.

“Lord of Flies” is definitely the most rock radio friendly track on the record. Witt’s lack of harsh vocals and catchy chorus brings to mind early Breaking Benjamin. If I had to pick a song on this record to hit the radio and make a splash, it would be this one.

“It Follows” is the epitome of what Cane Hill is trying to evolve into when it comes to its imprint in heavy metal. With the perfect mixture of what one would expect to hear from a Cane Hill track, combined with the updated style found on the rest of Too Far Gone, Witt goes between harsh and clean vocals with ease, and the instrumentation is as vicious as you’ll find on the record.

A very rare side of Cane Hill is found on the song “Why”, which strongly resembles the arrangements of nu-metal pioneers, Korn. There is a distinct lack of harsh vocals and the song is composed with electronic programming accompanied by a loud bass line followed by a big chorus that grips the listener into one of the most enjoyable tracks on Too Far Gone.

The title track on Too Far Gone if the definitive highlight of the record. An incredibly aggressive track with a chorus that makes you want to rip your face off, is about the bands intense romance with the drug LSD, how it dragged them to the bottom and consequently how they came back better from the experience.

“Too Far Gone” has one of the most aggressive choruses that you’ll find in 2018, and is executed perfectly in a Slipknot-like fashion. In between off-timed composition, Witt screams:

“Are you mad now that I’m too far gone? Are you mad that you can’t be like me, too far gone? You can try to keep up now, but you do it all wrong somehow. You’re so mad that you can’t be like me, too far gone.”

Cane Hill’s sophomore record is a genuine and matured effort that is going to make a dent in the heavy metal scene in 2018. Too Far Gone is a brutal, vicious and aggressive trip into the minds of Cane Hill as they struggled through their experiences of the last year.

But they came out of the darkness to produce an incredibly contrived, and very solid album that is consistent across the board, and shows a band executing alternative metal almost perfectly.

Check out the singles from Too Far Gone below.

“Too Far Gone”
“Lord Of Flies”
“It Follows”
“10 Cents”

Cane Hill will be providing support for Of Mice and Men on tour next month, and in Detroit at The Crofoot Ballroom on Feb., 12!

Robert J. Sherman

Editor-In-Chief. Data entry by day; rock photographer by night.