CAPA – This is the Dead Land This is Cactus Land

CAPA, an American metal band, concocts a forward-thinking fusion of black metal and post-rock. Interestingly, the outfit’s sounds are funneled into a trilogy, surrounding the subjects of nihilism and the societal disconnect. The band’s final installment looks over its shoulder to give a few nods to the previous productions. 

This is the Dead Land This is Cactus Land, CAPA’s full-length that is scheduled to be released in early October, finishes the trilogy with both atmospheric tranquility and grainy instrumentation. On the album, Matt Scanlon passionately laments harsh vocals. Anthony Vaccaro handles percussion with vigor. Multi-instrumentalist, Brandon Scott Baun, tackles guitar, bass and keyboards. On guitar, Matt Hershey crafts ferocity. By churning out individualistic songs, CAPA delivers their style.


This is the Dead Land This is Cactus Land album artwork

“A Crusader Returns” is off to a frantic start, the music not quite melodic but intense; an acoustic spell winds the track down, giving it more perspective for the coming song. In nearly a blink, the soft spirited introduction of “L’Étranger” channels gusts of rowdy percussion and turbulent guitar playing. 

“The Knights of the Holy Contact” is an amorphous dawdling in keyboard tones, swelling with pent up energy that awaits direction. On “The Symbiosis Part I: Asche,” gritty distortion and rhythmic stampedes entangle before sludgy vocals appear. The ambient blossoming of “The Symbiosis Part II: Grass and Stone” evolves into unmistakable heaviness. Palatable guitar riffs twinkle throughout “Martyrdom,” and traces of melody propel the song. Above subdued tones, “We Are Only Seeking Man,” spoken lyrics remain afloat, finishing the album with a poetic, meditative vibe. 

Wavering between ambient atmospheres and brittle riffs, This is the Dead Land This Cactus Land is capable of alluring audiences with stylistic variety. Most songs pass the five-minute-mark, showing CAPA’s knack for artistic exploration; the band’s work settles between raw creativity and promising musicality.

The album strengthens in composition at its latter half, which showcases memorable moments. “The Symbiosis Part I: Asche” offers its gutsy fits, and soft but expressive melodies characterize “The Symbiosis Part II: Grass and Stone,” exposing the powerfully composed track, “Martyrdom.” In its entirety, This is the Dead Land This is Cactus Land shakes up some fury and filters it through sentiment.


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