Behind Closed Doors - Caged in Helics

14 Nov 2022 - Thorsten

Instrumental Post-Metal, Metalcore | My Redemption Records | Release date: 28 Oct 2022 | Favorite song: black pyramid

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Writing reviews is somewhat of the ultimate nerd thing – you (normally) do not get paid, will hardly ever hear real feedback, speak somewhat into the void and very often talk about stuff that 99% of the now 8,000,000,000 people on this earth will gladly not care about. The upside? It can be a lot of fun. As with listening to Behind Closed Doors‘ debut

Albeit there is also one problem with this record – the description in the EPK. There it says that caged in helices a Post-Metal album is, but that tag is surely wrong. Wrong in the sense that it doesn’t fit into that category as it doesn’t follow any of the genre’s characteristic trademarks – the slow built-up, the harsh change in dynamics and the harsh, screaming yet guttural vocals. When listening to the instrumental record by this trio from three different countries (who then even recorded the tracks in a fourth one), it becomes clear that the influences on these seven tracks are much more complex and widespread.

One influence is surely Gothic metal with its string sections and melancholic cadences – easy find as the very first tunes we hear are the violin parts at the start of the opener ”the anti will”. Automatically, my first notion was ’Oh, they got that SubRosa thing going’ but then after roughly 1,5 of its eight minutes, the violins are blasted over by some really harsh, shifty Post-Hardcore drums and riffs. As if the melancholic basis of the North American prairies, bathed in some low-standing evening sunlight, suddenly feel the power and eruption of thousands of buffalo-hooves. When these ebb away after two minutes and the strings can take over again, one notices that this is not your average instrumental album. This is not Post-Metal in the Russian Circles-sense nor Post-Hardcore in the These Arms are Snakes-sense.

The drums can give us a good hint at what the difference might be. Very often, one hears some short, nearly djenty blasts on caged in helices and my first impression was either Northlane or While She Sleeps with a bit noisier riffing. Of course, the important strings do not fit this one, but when we notice them playing and supporting the riffs it becomes obvious how variably and shifty they are being used. When kaleidoscope antlers kicks in with its low-tuned, heavy riffs – this is maybe the most Post-Metal moment on the record, but more in the sense of the Crowbar-ish roots of the genre in Sludge. That might also be true for the middle part of the song, when it calms down and the guitar is being picked and the strings in the background slowly, very slowly become louder.

Maybe one is not wondering why there are so many violin and string parts on caged in helices: Very simply put – because one of the band members is a classic composer and thus also capable of writing very complex and shifty parts for the strings. The Dutch-Swedish rhythm section also is way too groovy to be your average Post-Metal band, where the beats are rather stoic. But tracks like ”black pyramid” are so tightly packed with drum pattern changes that this could hardly be a typical genre-record, because it has no genre. At the same time some of the breaks in that near eleven minute monster are so clearly identifiable that one should not deny that the band has in some way defined a new genre: Instrumental Post-Metalcore. The instrumental is also really important here, because as Long Distance Calling always explain so nicely: If you have vocals and lyrics it always takes attention away from the songs themselves also because you have to place at the center of the mix so much. Because what is the use of vocals if the audience can’t hear them?

To clarify one thing in the end: Discussing such things as genres or also the impossibility of really putting a record into genre – this inner discussion and its consequential passing of the torch onto you is one of the most-fun parts of doing this. Gonna spin this record again now, in order to bath in the glory of this new genre. Instrumental Post-Metal-Core.