Creativity can be used to express one’s inner self while also translating a fictional individual’s experience into a sonic episode. Applying a person’s story to a fictional universe through their own is an absolute sign of intelligent and visionary resilience.
Birmingham England’s finest hour in recent decades is the metallic hardcore band Cauldron, and their latest offering is their stunning debut album, Suicide in the City, a release that unfolds a narrative entrenched in personal experience with vocalist Frazer Cassling crafting a tale that explores the lives in multiple complex characters throughout the record’s gripping story that serves as a mirror image to the vocalist’s real life experiences through an imposing metalcore inspired structure.
Cassling comments on his love for conceptual records and how the record, although told in fictional form, is so personal and an open expressive letter of his life experiences proving he and the band are true visionaries. “A lot of my favorite albums are concept albums and I come back to them frequently as I’m almost double invested in them, one time for the music and another for the story. Grand Unification by Fightstar is a great example of this as it’s a concept record based on the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.
“As soon as I’d seen the anime, going back to the record took on a whole new meaning for me, and I love to delve deeper into it to see what I missed beforehand,” he explains. “The story is 100% influenced by my personal experiences during the time of writing. It may not be obvious when you read the lyrics, but almost every part of the story was influenced directly from something that happened to me.”
Cauldron are gifted. They can be themselves and construct music instinctively while also captivating the modern flow of a sound and genre. Suicide in the City comes at a time where this is truly a new experience for fans of the hardcore genre and its attached subgenres, and it comes from bands who are writing music just as it comes, naturally with brilliance. Cassling modestly comments on the ideology of writing to push boundaries and the thought process of a release falling into a genre and people’s everyday listening experiences.
“My mission statement with this band is not to push boundaries but instead to create what comes naturally. I think that too many bands focus on pushing boundaries and instead kind of end up lost in translation. I don’t want to redefine metalcore; I want to create metalcore that I think is good. I hope people listen to the record and I hope they can relate to it.”
The record was written and recorded over two and half years through the true desire to craft what was a perfect vision and turn it into the story of longing and desperation that this amazing album became. “All of our music is written before going to the studio through jamming live at our practice space or demoing,” he notes. “We then expand on the ideas at the studio, this is something Sam Bloor is great at doing because he hears things we’ve missed and helps us add them into the mix. I’d say we write with a perfect mix of improv and composition. The first draft of our songs starts with an idea for a part, then we play it live and see where it would naturally go next. Then after we have a song idea, we demo it and change it to improve on what we made live. Every song on this album feels like a different color to me and the color has stayed the same from writing the first riff to having the full finished master.”
Suicide in the City is truly compelling from start to finish. Cauldron have proved they are a band everyone needs to absolutely be investing their time in. Don’t wait and dive in.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Maiden