"Mark of Rot," the brand new album by CABAL of Copenhagen, has been on my radar for a while now, and after hearing "False Light" back in January, I knew we were in for a treat. Their prior EP - "Purge" - totally blew me away when I first heard it, and I knew that "Mark of Rot" was going to exactly the same by the time "False Light" was only halfway over. The bands new ten track album was put out by Long Branch Records on February 23rd, and I have been struggling to shut it off since. The band have truly crafted a sound all of their own, and its a sound you have to hear to really know what I'm talking about. I really hate to try and put "Mark of Rot" into a box by labeling it, but if I had to try and break it down, it's like a sick fucking mix of what's great about deathcore, death metal, and metalcore. There's even some djent-sounding parts to it, making this album one hell of a roller coaster for the listener as it takes you through so many different types of sounds and experiences. To sum it up in one sentence: "Mark of Rot" is one of heavy music's best kept secrets.
"Blackened Soil" gracefully leads you in as the guitars slowly build and the vocals chime in, crafting a chill, mellow groove to bob your head to just before the hidden, heavier elements to the band come to light. From there, the band continue with their unique, pounding sound which has these eerie, dark-feeling elements to it. Its something you'll feel a handful of times throughout "Mark of Rot" - they managed to capture this really different, sinister-feeling element that's so hard to explain but adds an extra layer to the album that takes it to a whole other level. Other definitely notable tracks would no doubt include "Unworthy," "Rah'ru," and of course the title track "Mark of Rot." Between the mix of badass drum-work, thunderous and violent guitars and gnarly vocals, the band have a sound unique to themselves which has creative takes on breakdowns, murderous guitar chugs and even blast beats. At times it feels like you're listening to a beatdown album, then it feels like a deathcore record, then it feels like a djent record - and that's not a bad thing; Cabal have so much going on throughout "Mark of Rot" that it is a constant changing form of chaos, and it is straight fire. "Nothingness" - featuring guest vocals by CJ McMahon - is an absolutely devastating head-banger, with a consistent sound that will make you want to punch a hole right into someones fucking face. McMahon's vocal spot compliments Cabal's own vocalist (and band, for that matter) absolutely perfectly - they crushed it by choosing McMahon to do the spot, for sure. "Empty" is the band's brutally dark and vicious instrumental - please do not skip this track during your listen, its most definitely an added treat to an already killer album. Cabal also included a sick feature by Filip Danielsson of Humanity's Last Breath that is to-fucking-die for: "The Darkest Embrace" is totally mental, and easily one of the best tracks off "Mark of Rot."
The dudes in CABAL certainly have slayed it on their debut full length, and "Mark of Rot" is definitely going to be in my frequent rotation for a long time to come. They are the perfect go-to for when I want something heavy and dark, but very chill and mellow at the same time. I'm very excited to see where Cabal take this band over the next year, as I can definitely see them taking off with the release of this new album. It's a different, fresh take on some styles we've been hearing for so long, and it's a true beast of a release.
Check out "False Light" off the new album in the video below, and if you like what you hear, please consider following the band on Facebook, grabbing the record off their Bandcamp or grabbing something from their merch store!