Album Review: Cabal – Magno Interitus

Denmark’s upstarts Cabal are quite possibly pioneering a new sub-genre right before our eyes. This Copenhagen buzzsaw, who are billed primarily as a deathcore band, are leaning more toward establishing blackcore, fusing the aura of black metal with beatdown hardcore.

Already on their third album since their 2018 debut, Magno Interitus displays Cabal’s significant progression and experimentation as songwriters. Via the opening track, “If I Hang, Let Me Swing,” they unload their full arsenal of styles with catastrophic riffs and synths, blistering drum beats, St. Louis-hip-hop-bounce-style breakdowns, and vocals varying from trebly screams to deep gutturals.

Although they perpetuate the instant-gratification method of executing metal—short intros and buildups, a constant presence of vocals, rapid transitions, and 808s galore—they manage to cultivate substance in the songs. The title track exhibits this by carrying a discernible ethereal tone, featuring baritone chanting at one point. It’s one of the more haunting hymns on the full-length and also features Joe Bad (Fit For An Autopsy).

“Existence Ensnared” catches Cabal working either consciously or unconsciously from a Meshuggah influence. It’s bound to happen with even a semi-djent band that gets technical with their grooves, especially through down-tuned guitars and modern, super cold production. When these mashers deviate from the formula, though, is during the beatdowns that pit guitars and warbling static in a choking match. This clever back-and-forth causes the static to take on the role of harmonics.

Now, where these Danes truly flex their innovative muscles is in “Blod af Mit.” Amongst the harrowing breakdowns littering this tasty morsel are dark industrial sections a la Nine Inch Nails. Distorted moaning and screaming blend well with the entrancing rhythms during these parts. Here is a crossover song that would garner a reaction from crowds at both raves and metal shows.

The hybrid composition concludes with “Plague Burner”—a final bruiser chock full of those shoulder-bobbing, bouncy grooves. It’s appropriately capped off by synths that laboriously buzz into the distance like dying bees. The clean and calculated delivery of futuristic sonic booms gets put to rest until Cabal enters their next metamorphoses. For now, snag them in their current form when Magno Interitus releases on October 21 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Buy the album here.

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