It’s one thing to come together as a band to decide what sort of music you want to create, but it’s a whole other thing to be able to build a consistent atmosphere that enhances the entire listening experience of your music. Revealing themselves through occult imagery, Copenhagen, Denmark’s Cabal have maintained a grim and unholy aesthetic, while conjuring up some of the most dreadfully heavy breakdowns.
There is something inherently dark about Cabal which shines through the band’s black-and-grey visuals, unsettling musical garnishes, and maniacal vocal incantations. Although the band is relatively still young, they’ve continued to develop their combination of djent, deathcore, beatdown, and black metal around a throbbing darkness that continues to grow with every release.
With their brand-new album Drag Me Down, Cabal take the opportunity to reflect a more inward blackness out to the world, while growing heavier and more wicked than ever before.
Drag Me Down hits the accelerator from the start with “Gift Giver,” picking up the pace for a band that are generally more groove-oriented and bouncy by nature. Cabal immediately introduces newer musical variations throughout this track and provides a more raw, punk/hardcore angle to their sound.
Cabal relentlessly smash forth with utterly heavy, beatdown-driven breakdowns that hit with vicious attack in songs like “Drag Me Down,” “Tongues,” and “The Hangman’s Song.” The more crushing components that make up the band’s sound are highlighted among these songs and merge a blackened frame of mind with thallish tendencies.
The noticeable ingredient within some of these tracks specifically (and throughout the album as a whole), is the band’s ability to belt out some hard-hitting choruses. One thing they’ve worked on transitioning from their critically acclaimed Mark Of Rot to Drag Me Down is adding different layers of strings and vocal adjustments to make their choruses hit with more of an impact.
Although Drag Me Down is loaded with Cabal’s signature intensity, they undertake new musical ideas at specific points throughout this album to help reflect more of that personal blackness. The powerful “It Haunts Me,” utilizes detailed riffs and a synth-forward approach to elevate more personal and honest components within this track, while the alluring “Sjælebrand” hexes and haunts its way through an evil ambiance. These stand out as more dynamic tracks in terms of expanding the atmosphere of Cabal’s sound.
Cabal are a band that have the ability to cook up a massive sound, which both “Death March” and “Unbound” can attest to. On Drag Me Down, they’ve maintained their crushing instrumentals while expanding their sound outward in many respects. Drag Me Down grabs the listener and sends them spiraling down a dark hole of unwanted demons, while seamlessly merging together so many modern elements of heavy music.