Meet Cave In, a band of merry Massachusetts indie-metalers with one foot in the hardcore grave and the other slamming down on a King Crimson art-rock guitar pedal. After nearly five years in metal purgatory -- all those jagged guitars, double-kick-drum explosions, and incomprehensibly screamed vocals -- the quartet is poised for indie stardom with Jupiter
, its second full-length, a tremendous evolutionary leap that's the equivalent of going from Machine Head to Radiohead. It's a welcome change. After the occasionally interesting but ultimately impenetrable thrash of last year's Until Your Heart Stops, Jupiter
swerves headlong into theatrical indie art rock, rife with huge riffs and bombastic falsetto vocals. "Brain Candle" and the title track appropriate melodic distortion fireballs from Hum; "In the Stream of Commerce" borrows the operatic vocals from Jeff Buckley and the guitar effects from OK Computer
; and portions of the "Big Riff" guitar solo sound lifted directly from "Hotel California." But the band's fusion smacks more of synergy than thuggery, and frontman Stephen Brodsky can deftly turn a pop hook or scream "Meeeeee" just like James Hetfield. The result still packs a muscular space-metal wallop without sacrificing intelligence, melody, or songwriting. The campaign to reclaim metal from the lunkheads has begun, and it makes sense that it begins with Jupiter
-- it would almost have
to begin on another planet.