An album release from Behind Closed Doors brings a lush and edgy soundscape to metal by bringing in orchestrated string sections that add beauty to the aggression and these bowed instruments add such a unique texture to the genre that songs become cinematic and Progressive in a new and outside the box way.
The Caged in Helices album gives off everything you think of in terms of soundscape that's able to creep under your skin and haunt you in the best ways possible of course.
This record hits with a heavy-handed impact but also flows with such a silky and dreamlike aesthetic that it becomes emotionally attaching and the record has this wonderful combination of harshness and softness but that dynamic is a fine line that's walked throughout the entire course of the record.
In terms of the metal side of things, this band is super tight and they have deep drudgery in their riffs.
The drumming and percussion is brutal and incredible to the point where there are time signatures and sections throughout the course of these songs that are so quick and unique that you have to go back and listen to the song again just to soak it in properly.
I think the most amazing thing about this record is that everything about it, and I do mean everything, is gracefully performed and done with loads of heart, attention to detail and intricacy, and a pure love for the craft.
There are guitar sections that also display beautiful Melodies and soft sides along with these strings from violin to cello that build that emotional platform even bigger.
This was such a great twist of drive and flow and the way it all comes together is still done with this really thoughtful production process so that there are still surprises around the corners of the record even when you think you've heard it all.
Again, this whole thing sounds massively cinematic and can come through vast as well as sharp at times but the most fun part about it is that it feels like it's a concept record and that these songs are actually chapters you're reading out of a book or scenes you're watching in a film.
The level of escapism that this record delivers is outstanding and I think that's something that a lot of us miss when it comes to any genre of music honestly.
Being able to step out of your own reality and listen to something that creates these vivid images in your head is something that we don't always get and so when we do it's very refreshing.
With the release of such a uniquely built and performed album, we wanted to sit down with Behind Closed Doors to find out where this record came from and what might be next for the band.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with Caged In Helices! This album was vast, heavy, and the string sections really added depth and emotion! How did this release come about?
While I listened to a lot of metal in the 90s, I also have a deep affection to classical music and I believe those two worlds, heavy and classical music, are actually not as far apart as one might think at first glance. It was hence a rather natural process for me to try to combine those two elements, and I was trying to create an amalgam in regards to the sound design and not use the string quartet as a mere embellishment.
Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as a band?
Our bass player Fred and I met during our years in music college and we started out as a two piece, writing songs with programmed drums. We worked slowly, but continuously over a couple of years until we finally recruited a drummer and recorded an album "metanoia" back in 2018. Yuma, our current drummer, jumped on board only a couple of months before we hit the studio to record "caged in helices". Yuma turned out to be an absolute jackpot for behind closed doors! He is an extraordinary musician, composer and human being!
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
Everything and nothing. Literally. I can be inspired by the arts, (a book, a poem, a painting, a sculpture, a movie, oh and there's also music!); I can draw input from nature and it's fantastic, immediate displays o life and death, or from our human world with its' politics, our technologies and our eternally unanswered questions about our selves. Very often creativity comes like a sneeze for me. When your nose tickles, you know that eventually, you will have to sneeze and you can't help it. Same for me with composing and, honestly, I try to not think too much about what I am thinking when I write, I just try to ride the wave, if that makes any sense.
Buzz Slayers: This record has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
Next to the heavy bands I grew up with, I definitely have to say Gloria Coates. She was arguably the worlds' greatest female symphonist, having written 17 of them. Her music is otherworldly, I can only recommend to check her out.
Unfortunately Gloria passed away not too long ago, on August 19th 2023. I had the privilege to know her personally and if it wasn't for her, I would not write for strings the way I do.
Another influence were Dimitrij Shostakovichs 15 string quartets. The mood and vibe they emit are just captivating.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
The little time I have for my self I tend to spend with my wife and my dog, preferably somewhere out in nature. I also love going to museums, exhibitions and concerts and watch a good movie.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
"My heart is in the highlands" by Arvo Paert.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
We are currently booking shows and hope to move some air near you rather sooner than later!
Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?
While I have a home studio where I prepare a rather thorough pre production, "caged in helices" was recorded at Hertz Recording Studio in Poland by the acclaimed Wieslawski brothers. We dug ourselves in for over two weeks and worked nine hours a day. That was quite an intensive time, as we set ourselves the task to not copy/paste anything on our record. While it was very demanding, we had a blast creating music with a lovely group of people! The string quartet parts were recorded in Amsterdam at Warning Studios a couple of weeks after the band recordings.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
We love to play live, so I do hope we can hit as many stages as possible. Nonetheless, I do have enough material for a follow up album already ...
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you for your interest and support! I do know that instrumental metal with a string quartet is a rather unconventional endeavor, so we appreciate your dedication, and we hope we can create a vibe you can click with!