Caïna's sole member Andrew Curtis-Brignell has mastered the aural nuances of experimental black metal. His new album, Gentle Illness, is truly terrifying, evoking nightmarish claustrophobia and crushing despair, spiking harsh metallic sounds with the spine-tingling chill of discordant noise interludes. His motivations weren't simply raging against humanity or invoking the devil, as so many projects of this ilk claim to do; he aimed to convey hopelessness, alienation and the lonely, sinking feeling one can find while trapped inside their own mind.
"Gentle Illness is what happens when your brain is disintegrating and you just let your intrusive thoughts take the wheel for an entire album," he tells Revolver. "It's the sound of a sick, furious, exhausted, alienated, pathetic husk doing anything they can to record their thoughts in some way before they forget how to think entirely."
While this collection of tracks might metaphorically signal the death knell of someone at their wit's and life's end, there's a cathartic exaltation to be found, as well. The visceral uneasiness brought about by disjointed cuts such as the title one feel like electro-shock therapy. Survive the challenging cacophony within, and you, too, might live to see another day.
He explains further, "I can't sell this to you — I've got no posturing pitch about how loud this is, or how I could beat you up. I just have a record I made about nearly dying, again. Bravado is for cowards — only vulnerability is real."
Stream Gentle Illness above for a dark, purgative experience. You can pick up the album when it's officially released this Friday, November 1st. U.S. fans can pre-order it via Season of Mist, and those in Europe can find it via Apocalyptic Witchcraft.
Gentle Illness track listing:
1. Wellness Policy
2. Your Life Was Probably Pointless
3. No Princes in Hell
4. Canto IV
5. Gentle Illness
6. Contactee Cult
7. My Mind Is Completely Disintegrating
8. One Breath Under the Yoke Is a Fate Worse Than Death