CABAL – Magno Interitus (Album Review)

Cabal - Magno Interitus album review

CABAL – Magno Interitus 
Released: October 21st, 2022

Line Up

Andreas Bjulver Paarup // Vocals
Christian Hammer Mattesen // Guitars
Chris Kreutzfeldt // Guitars
Malthe Strøyer Sørensen // Bass
Nikolaj Kaae Kirk // Drums

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CABAL does extreme metal well. Without beating around the bush, Magno Interitus is an intense listening experience from the Danes. Drawing on Scandinavian black metal, though with djent and modern metalcore influences, CABAL push all their chips in for album number three. It’s a step up from the admittedly solid Drag Me Down (2020), with their usual bleak aesthetic enhanced by some minor electronic flourishes. The result is an all-encompassing wall of sound that induces terror if you close your eyes and let the minor details into your psyche. 

What I am saying is it is really heavy and not for the faint of heart. You also shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while listening. 

The onslaught is immediate. Opener ‘If I Hang, Let Me Swing’ is sharply focused with little room for pleasantries or small talk. It’s brutal but densely layered and it takes a while to distinguish instrumental parts under the layered vocals. It’s intense and a little verbose but ultimately a great smack across the head with lots of little details in between chords. ‘Insidious’ is the first of a few uptempo tracks, designed to split atoms and cause your neck to whiplash. It helps that it’s a short run time because my physio would not be pleased to see me again so soon. Simon Olsen (BÆST) pops in on this one to add his own vocal tone to the horrorshow. Fit For An Autopsy’s Joe ‘Bad’ Badolato drops in on ‘Magno Interitus’ to add his own barks and rasps. It’s here the band push themselves, with a chorus that is almost accessible on first listen, and gaps in between Christian Hammer Mattesen and Chris Kreutzfeldt’s riffs that let you hear the effects with some clarity. It’s a little slower too, but full of hatred and loathing. 

Not content with merely exploding eardrums, CABAL wants to blow your brains out. They achieve this by twisting and turning your expectations of what genre you are listening to. ‘Existence Ensnared’ has a prolonged outro of industrial dubstep noise, pushing the guitars out in favour of a piercing electronic soundscape. ‘Insatiable’ comes as advertised, with a distinctly extreme hardcore approach musically and synth effects that John Carpenter would nod along with. Industrial duo John Cxnnor add their own touches to ‘Blod af Mit’, arguably the darkest track here as the pitch-black metal vibe slows to incorporate an Aphex Twin style penetration. It’s absurd, it is what I imagine the moon crashing into the Earth would sound like. And yet, it kind of bounces? Like there’s some groove in there somewhere towards the end. 

The vocal approach is also hard to pin down or describe with singular adjectives. Black shrieks? Sure. But then ‘Exit Wound’ has some hardcore rapping in a full-throat growl. Singer Andreas Bjulver Paarup moves so seamlessly between rasps, shrieks and growls on ‘Violent Ends’ that it must have taken days to record the different layers. It’s just pulverising, coupled with the wall of noise behind him. It’s full-on aural torment, Paarup passing his pain along to the listener. ‘Like Vultures’ ends with choral chanting so that breaks it up a little but for the most part, there is little joy, which is kind of the point. If you have made it this far you’ve got a high tolerance and are part of a special group of people – extreme music lovers. Welcome to the club. 

Gotta be honest though – go out of your way to hear ‘Exsanguination’. What a ride. Killer riffing that isn’t quite buried in the mix. It’s industrial with some good ol’ thrash thrown in and plenty of staccato. They put some similar riffs into the hardcore base of ‘Plague Bringer’, which is admittedly very much into glitch FX and occasional dub excursions in under four minutes. It ends with an almighty head banging breakdown and synths. It’s atmospheric, in the sense that you’ll feel like you’ve blasted out the space shuttle hatch and are now in the cold vacuum of space struggling to breathe but admiring the bright sun as its gravity pulls you towards it. 

This is not for everyone, just those who like it closest to the edge of the infinite abyss. In other words, this shit is awesome. 

CABAL new album 2022

CABAL Magno Interitus tracklisting 

  1. If I Hang, Let Me Swing 
  2. Insidious 
  3. Magno Interitus Master 
  4. Existence Ensnared 
  5. Insatiable
  6. Blod af Mit 
  7. Exit Wound
  8. Violent Ends 
  9. Like Vultures 
  10. Exsanguination 
  11. Plague Bringer 

Rating: 8 / 10
Magno Interitus is out October 21, 2022 on Nuclear Blast Records. Pre-Order here if you’ve got the guts.
Review by KJ Draven (Twitter and Instagram). 

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