What Does Madness Look Like? What Does It Sound Like?
Reviewing a few new singles from the upcoming album from The Cage In Your Head, let's dive in to this teaser for the new release that's coming soon!
The human psyche is a complex thing. From feelings of nervousness, remembering past traumas, trying to remain hopeful in dire situations, to reliving those happy moments we cling on to that we've had in the past, our mind can either play tricks on us, hold us down, or lift us up, it all depends on how you tap into it. Darren Daneliuk, the mastermind of the solo project(soon to be a fully fleshed out band), The Cage In Your Head, seems to have a way to hit on certain feelings and moments from our human experience on this spinning rock that I feel just about anyone can identify with on some level. Having his own past hardships that I won't go into detail here(in the interview links below he gives his story to the listeners), he uses his music to help not only himself, but others find their inner strength and confidence to rise up like a phoenix through the ashes of ones past destitution. Helping raise awareness to things such as suicide, abuse, both physical and mental, addiction, and several other tropes that we as humans struggle with, Darren now seemingly wears his past hardships as a sort of tattoo that tells a story for those who wish to listen, and his music speaks loudly to those who do.
I first heard The Cage In Your Head by simply doing a Youtube search on my own bands name, The Obsidian Resurrection, to see if the name had already been taken since we were changing our name from Obsidian, the scene has way too many Obsidian's. I saw Darrens music pop up on my search results and a song title piqued my curiosity, Hourglass Eyes. Wow, this guy really knew how to write riffs that hook you in with a musically seductive atmosphere. The next song that played was, The Dark Is So Bright Pt. 2. Punishing riffs and heavy as hell drums abound on this track, OK, I was sold, I had to reach out to him, and ever since, he has been a solid friend who gives me advice on things, has been someone to talk to when needed, and a helpful member within the Metal Incorporated community. He is quite a unique creation of god in this universe and always seems to want to give a helping hand or words of encouragement, a sort of light in the dark, so to speak. So when it came time to review his music, I was happy to do so to help bring more people over to his creations and help them find not only brutal tunes, but songs with deep messages to help us all calm our inner demons.
The first of three songs that I am going over is titled A Nightmare You Couldn't Even Imagine. Haunting synths accompany chilling strings sound off as we dive into the dark catacombs of this track. Darren's trademark in your face vocal approach holds nothing back as always, it's hard to believe that someone who sounds so primitively aggressive could be such a nice guy, but hey, us metal heads are all supposedly maniacal serial killers, right? Right. The subject matter of this track helps to set the stage for the types of themes that are present throughout Darren's music catalog for The Cage In your Head. This track has some up-tempo riffing and some stellar solos compliments from his new lead guitarist. Knowing Darren's musical influences, I can definitely hear them lurking in every corner on this exciting track, imagine a very heavy Alice Copper with older Metallica and some dashes of Lamb Of God and you're on the right track, as demented as said track can be, that is. This is a solid introduction to The Cage In Your Head's new upcoming album material.
Moving on to the next track we slow things down. In The Rain is a track that, as I mentioned before, is a harkening to raise awareness on some rather intense subjects, case in point here, suicide. A very powerful song, it hits on some real emotions here. Let me give you some perspective first, I had a conversation with Darren recently that I no longer have any desire to listen to ballad type songs when it comes to my metal music, or any slow or sad types of songs because I too have had my own fucked up hardships in life and have been trying to remain in a positive mindset. After all, why should I listen to music that purposefully gets me down and forces me into a negative mentality? Well Darren completely understood but also described what this song was about and asked if I could at least give it a listen for musical feedback, but stated that he also understood if I didn't want to listen to it. A few days went on and I decided to say fuck it, I'll do him a solid and check it out..... albeit reluctantly. I was actually surprised and glad that I did. In The Rain is not your typical slow and depressing song. Yes, it's dark, emotional, it can definitely put you into a state of emotional introspection, but it also leaves you with a sense of hope, that this shit isn't over, life will go on and we have to keep pushing through. The message this song presents really does highlight a serious issue in our society, we aren't meant to live day in and day out as drones working ourselves to death while trying to cope with the things that we go through in life, we are meant to be around each other and lift each other up when we are down. Suicide is a issue that is on the rise across the globe and we need to all start paying attention and simply lending a helping hand, present a listening ear, or offer a shoulder for someone to cry on, all those gestures mentioned can really go a long way in someone's life that can have profound positive effects on those who feel as if there's nothing left in this world for them. This is a very good example of Darren being that light to summon in the dark. Which is my play on another one of his older song titles that I enjoy, A Light To Summon The Dark.
Now, this next and final track I am going to review, I have to admit, you won't be able to listen to until this May when it's released as his third single off his upcoming album because Darren had showed me some scratch demo work for this song and I was impressed. So much in fact that I offered to help in playing bass on this song with him because I was already hearing some slick bass lines to the riffs he was showing me. He agreed, and he showed me more ideas for the song, we bounced ideas back and forth for it over the course of a few days, and thus, A Harrowing Descent Into Madness's was born. Now many of you might be familiar with my bands music, symphonic death metal, the music Darren creates is anything but. However, playing different styles of music is key in helping musicians grow, stepping outside of your comfort zone can help you improve on your own musical skill sets, and I am also a true believer in metal being a form of music that has no bounds, I am not a elitist fan boy of just one genre of metal, I love it all, if it kicks ass, then it simply kicks ass and i'll blast that shit on my stereo. I digress, let's get into this track here. A Harrowing Descent Into Madness's is a very groovy and crunchy driving song that keeps your head bobbing until the end. I'm trying my hardest not to be biased here, but there was a reason I wanted to play bass on this track, because it simply rocks, folks. Darren with his intense vocals, his ability to hook you in with catchy riffs, and the way his producer and friend, David Asher, helps him to put the finishing touches on his songs, definitely helps to push this song over the top and I have a feeling it'll be a solid single release once it rolls out this May for all of you to check out. Oh and the bass work is fantastic, wink wink.
Listening to The Cage In Your Head is always a journey. Each song that Darren creates is a completely different experience than the last and it helps keep things fresh. If you're looking for something new that has inspirational messages within dark themes that are relative to our lives that we live, all while banging your head to some heavy riffs, then give Darren's music a shot. I can say that these three singles from his upcoming album stand strong as a example of what is sure to be a damn good release from The Cage In Your Head, give him a follow on his social media and check out his music on his band camp and show him some support for doing what he can to try to raise awareness on some very sensitive and real topics that we all go through.
Review done by Joshuah Jones, the bassist of The Obsidian Resurrection.
Interview with Darren of the Cage In Your Head with BODS Mayhem Hour Podcast:
Interview with Darren from The Cage In Your Head with Metal For The Masses Radio: