Music is often a reflection of the times we live in. Artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Jefferson Airplane’s music mirrored the social consciousness of the mind expanding ‘60s while 30 years later Radiohead would release OK Computer, which was a reflection of our anxiety-ridden technology-fueled society. Today most of the world is talking about things like privacy, censorship and law enforcement through their preferred form of social media The band Cause In Affect on their recent release Seraph wanted to provoke thought and explore themes about “ones internal struggle with the establishment, the over-policed State and the mass consumerist culture.”
The band plays hard rock/metal that does feel like a visceral reaction to a society that seems to be on the brim of breaking. It’s pent up anger; it’s a cathartic purge; it’s music. From a musical perspective the band isn’t breaking any boundaries but that doesn’t mean they don’t deliver well-written songs that you can put out a fire with. It also doesn't hurt that the production is stellar throughout. The album has the production to back up the intensity of the music. Let’s face it the message and overall feeling you would get from this album would be diluted if the sound quality was poor.
Cause In Affect takes absolutely no time at all to get up in your face to tell you what’s wrong. “Nahuiz” is a full barrage of instrumentation before settling into subtle electronic, strategically placed guitar and reverb soaked vocals. The song gets more inventive as it progresses by interjecting rhythmic complexity.
“The Virus” is a heavy hitting song that explores various vocal styles while “Rejection Of Seraph” contains an impressive bassline that provides the energy of the song. The most original song and clear highlight to me was the closer “Mortis Via,” which wasn’t nearly as heavy as the other tracks but the most inventive in a number of ways. I was digging the percussion driven tune, which is some ways reminded of Tool. Good closer.
The album isn’t perfect but not much is. Some of the songs did sound too derivative and familiar for my liking Overall, the songs are mixed but the delivery is exceptional. I couldn’t but help think of the last scene in Fight Club when looking at their album cover and what it implies - a city burning down and with it hopefully all the impurities that it contained. What forms in the ashes is still up to us.
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