Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, CABAL have quickly made a name for themselves following the release of their debut album. Mark of Rot, dropped in 2018, and was followed by a number of festival appearances, and tours around Europe, Japan and North America. Drag Me Down sees CABAL continue to grow and develop their sound. Featuring and darker sound, and a diverse range of special guests, the new album does not disappoint.
The album opens with Gift Givers and, from the off, one thing is very clear – they production of CABAL’s sound is of an incredibly high quality. Not only this, but they have managed to create a unique style with it. The intensity of their sound is compelling throughout each track on the album. The heaviness in their sound is enhanced by each instrumental part, along with the vocals. The guitars, bass and percussion combine together to form a full soundscape without bleeding too far into each other. The vocals manage to remain above the instrumentation without feeling too separated or becoming lost in the lower tones of the music. This opening track shows of CABAL’s style – it throws the listener into the pit headfirst. The sheer tenacity of their energy is unrelenting. Drag Me Down, featuring Polaris’ Jamie Hails, may give a false sense of security beginning with a slower tempo but this just embellishes the dynamics of the track. The two vocal textures creating an interesting contrast. Both Andreas and Jamie have distinctive vocals and yet, the contrast it brings forms interesting textures with the instruments.
The soaring orchestral melody in the chorus of It Haunts Me, featuring Kim Song Sternkopf, brings a very different feel to their sound. The renown horror ‘Psycho’ style staccato orchestral strings bring to life a theatrical, horror feel in the track. The chorus delivers further surprises. The orchestral instruments perform a beautiful, uplifting melody that introduces a drastic contrast to the dissonant and heavy sounds coming from the vocals and remaining instruments. It emphasises the haunting element of the track through being unexpected. To top off their guest appearances, Trivium’s Matt Heafy features on Bitter Friend. The full force, aggressive instrumentation delivers a powerful impact – not for the first time on this album. The lead motif that runs throughout the track forms a catchy hook and contrasts the heaviness. Despite being just under three minutes long, there’s a lot going on in this track; it’s energetic and passionate throughout. CABAL convey the emotions and mood of each track through their music. Whether it be in the form of subtle synths in the background that enhance their dark sound, or more obvious techniques. The rhythm of Death March delivers the momentum that aptly fits the title. The punchy vocal line ‘death march’ emphasises the effect further.
Drag Me Down is not only an incredible album, it showcases a ludicrously high standard of composition, performance and production. To have achieved such a strong, dynamic and unique sound on their second album, CABAL have significantly raised the bar.
Track Listing for “Drag Me Down” by Cabal:
- Gift Givers
- Drag Me Down (Jamie Hails of Polaris)
- It Haunts Me (Kim Song Sternkopf)
- The Hangman’s Song
- Death March
- Bitter Friend (Matt Heafy of Trivium)
Available as Exclusive Bundles, LP, CD, Download and Stream
Andreas Bjulver Paarup – Vocals
Chris Kreutzfeldt – Guitars
Arsalan Sakhi – Guitars
Malthe Strøyer Sørensen – Bass
Nikolaj Kaae Kirk – Drums