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Cabal - Mark of Rot Award winner

Mark of Rot
by The Corpse Painted Pegacorn at 15 April 2018, 9:30 AM

“Mark of Rot” is the debut album from CABAL. The band, hailing from Copenhagen, garnered attention upon the release of their EP, “Purge”, in 2016. CABAL returns with a ten track full length album that is nothing short of pure evil via Long Branch Records. CABAL masters heavy down tuned bass, violent rhythmic breakdowns, sludgy groove, and manages to add in eerie atmospheric moments as well. Their sound has been called Deathcore or Djent, but they prove to bring more than just the aforementioned sub genre labels. Sinister “Mark of Rot” delves into an abyss of heinous cult sacrifice and the black arts.

The impact is immediate with the first track, “False Light.” CABAL obliterates with menacing riffs, syncopated rhythm, and overall mercilessness. Track two, “Nothingness”, begins with an eerie organ tune almost as though you are descending into the depths of some ancient catacomb to come face to face with an undead hunger. Ravenously, “Nothingness” tears in with nothing short of savage, animal grace. The rhythmic drumming and down tuned bass drives this ferocious track.  “The Blackened Soil” brings a sense of impending doom from the start. The track delivers the listener unto an impervious darkness.

“Rah’Ru” leads in with gloomy, ominous choral singing before digging right into the breakdowns with more of the heavy drumming and bass. “Empty” is a haunting track with thick, sludgy sound against skull shattering beating of the skins. If malevolence had a sound, this may be it. Energetically, “Unworthy” kicks up forcefully, almost with an electronic sound. The mix on these tracks is awesome, the low end sounds drive the music, but I like how the dissonant chords from the guitars reach out and forcibly grab at you and keep you feeling uneasy throughout. The end of the track is essentially a procession of these curdling, incongruous chords and consequently it’s like your greatest anxieties are materializing out of sound. This might have been my favorite track, but the jury is out, because I think if I continue to listen to this album my favorite track would change day to day.

“Blinded” kicks in with another rage filled beating on the drums and bass. The atmospheric moments in the song really drive the interest for me on this track. CABAL creates a disdainful, terrifying soundscape with “Whispers.” Once again, the conflict between the chugging breakdowns and atmospheric moments gives the listener something to think about. “Mark of Rot” starts off like something out of a horror movie, particularly one about demonic possession. The song is beautiful in a horrifying way. The guitar riffs are captivating, and I found myself wanting to go backward and re-listen. The darkness can be alluring, and I think that is what can be said about “Mark of Rot.”

Overall, I am impressed with “Mark of Rot.” CABAL crafts crazy heavy breakdowns and manages to tie in gloomy, atmospheric moments and haunting dissonant guitar chords into something that could very well be evil incarnate seeping through my headphones. I will definitely listen to this album again, and I’d also recommend it.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. False Light
2. Nothingness (ft CJ McMahon)
3. The Blackened Soil
4. Rah’Ru
5. Empty
6. Unworthy
7. Blinded
8. Whispers
9. The Darkest Embrace (ft Filip Danielsson)
10. Mark of Rot
Chris Kreutzfeldt - Guitar
Malthe Strøyer - Bass
Andreas Bjulver - Vocals
Nikolaj Kirk - Drums
Record Label: Long Branch Records


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