And so begins Caïna’s fifth full length release, Setter of Unseen Snares, with the words of Rust Cohle from the brilliant HBO program ‘True Detective’. There is a concept at play here: Setter of Unseen Snares tells the story of Earth’s last family and the way in which each member chooses (or is chosen) to deal with the end of the world. Some are sacrificed, others are less fortunate, the snares tighten regardless. The concept is a little difficult to follow due to the vocal delivery and the lack of lyrics; however the emotion and feeling portrayed is palpable, while the gripping music is played with ferocity, anger, and honesty. There are brief moments of respite, but that matters very little due to a general feeling of numbness that gnaws at your soul.
Caïna are tough to pin down in terms of descriptors, but they are certainly not a band that can be pigeonholed into one distinct sound or genre. This seems to be a developing trend nowadays, and it’s almost seen as the norm to be eclectic, varied and dynamic opposed to doing something above average over and over again. That being said; the style and characteristics of Setter of Unseen Snares is relatively consistent, settling (or unsettling) on a blend of hardcore infused black metal. There is a disturbingly honest yet grim underbelly to this band, and they (or technically him, Andrew Curtis-Brignall) don’t have a very favourable view of society and how humanity is progressing (or regressing).
The first five tracks are a blast full of black metal, delivered with an edge of hardcore. ‘I am the Flail of the Lord’ has a very stark atmosphere, coupled with some energetic drum work and throat bleeding vocals. Each track has stylistic nuances: take, for instance, the title track with its chaotic yet dissonant approach, while screams of pain and an anguish bellow at times, and ‘Vowbound’ has a stomping industrial touch and a catchy punk riff played over the top of some frenetic drumming.
The money shot really comes with ‘Orphan’, a colossal 15 minute track. This is a moving beast of a song, and a contender for the best thing Caïna have put their name to. The track starts off quiet, building steadily through almost doom like passages to a chilling black metal climax so powerful and filled with unprocessed beauty. The sounds are raw, passionate, and delivered with purpose. There is not a note played here that lingers aimlessly, and with each passing moment, it buries you further and further into the void created by the conscious.
Caïna have started 2015 off with a torturous slab of grief and distress, setting the bar pretty high already. Setter of Unseen Snares is an album for those that have very little positive new years resolutions. if you plan on heading into this with a positive outlook on 2015, then your going to be a little shaken up.
“I think the honourable thing for our species to do is to deny our programming. Stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction. One last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal”.
2. I Am the Flail of the Lord
3. Setter of Unseen Snares