Song: Mouth of Madness
Date of Release: 16/08/19
For Fans Of: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Twelve Foot Ninja, Marmozets (mathcore era)
“Both feet in, both feet in, You've got both feet in the mouth of sin.”
Coming direct from Singapore, Caracal have graced us with their crushing new post-hardcore ripper ’Mouth of Madness’. As a newcomer to the band, this track was quick to seize my undivided attention. If you like your expectations subverted as much as I do, then this one is definitely for you.
As ‘Mouth of Madness’ opens, Caracal cut right to the chase, blasting off into your eardrums with some rhythmically sporadic instrumentation that borderlines Mathcore in a peculiarly violent fashion. The dissonance of riffs blur into what feels like a soundscape of instrumental screaming, almost as though the guitars themselves are in pain; a mere foundation on which front woman Rachel Lu delivers an unhinged vocal performance that will surprise you just as much as Caracal’s scattered rhythms. It’s unpredictable, tight and straight up badass, reminding me fondly of Vexed-era Marmozets, but with more of a focus on cacophonous down-tuned rage and psychotic nonsense, rather than punk hooks and mind-bending technicality.
With that being said however, Caracal do not shy away from the odd shred, sweep, tapping solo or blast beat; and to juxtapose all of this madness, what can only be described as a gospel sing-along sees the band harmonising "grace, grace, grace", intelligently tying the song back into its own themes. It’s quite a rollercoaster, yet every section seems to fit appropriately within a satisfying progression that swerves you back and forth between the extreme polar opposites of which this band are so effortlessly capable of achieving.
One gripe I do have with ‘Mouth of Madness’ however is that I feel it’s production doesn’t do the song total justice. Things can honestly get quite overbearing when the band are in at full throttle, and it can be especially difficult to make out the words at times. This is especially apparent during the song’s tumultuous outro.
Lyrically, ‘Mouth of Madness’ ferociously condemns the hypocritical concept of religious dominance on one’s state of mind, particularly the way it serves to limit their openness to opposing perspectives. In an interview with Hysteria Mag, the band described this concept as “the fear of the unknown or unfamiliar” and “the basis for rejecting what they do not know or understand, and subverting it for their own agenda”. It’s portrayed effectively, and the chorus in particular stands out by putting a bleak, militaristic spin on words “this is my body, this is my blood”.
Overall, ‘Mouth of Madness’ is an abrasive blast of a song, and if you haven’t yet been introduced to Caracal, let this be your red pill to their mighty sound. It’s unique, hectic and assertive. A total banger! They are also playing as in the Hear65 Showcase at Bigsound!
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 5/5
Personal Enjoyment: 8.5/10