Friday, 27 April 2018

Cassus - Separation Anxiety REVIEW

Cassus stand as one of the most dynamic and diverse screamo bands in the genre, with a litany of vocal stylings, a blend of melody and chaos, and the ability to craft unique songs that aren't afraid to defy genre archetypes. This makes for an incredible album listening experience. They are back with their 2nd full-length, Separation Anxiety, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2015's seminal This Is Dead Art; This Is Dead Time But We May Still Live Yet. You can check out my previous post on this band/album here. You can read a brief bio of them below before getting into the review, and LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM.


"Cassus - from Norwich, UK - released their first LP "This Is Dead Art; This Is Dead Time; But We May Still Live Yet" in November 2015 (following two self-released split EPs in 2012 and 2013) with the record labels React With Protest (Germany), Framecode Records (Malaysia), Samegrey Records (Ukraine), Structures//Agony (US), and Don't Care Records (UK) to critical acclaim from blogs such as Circling The Drain and Sophie's Floorboard. The record also holds a 4.57/5 average rating on Discogs. The band have toured extensively around Europe and played festivals: Cry Me A River in 2016 and 2017, Fiducia Fest in 2015 and 2017, and Fluff Fest in 2017 (headlining CMAR 2017, Fiducia 2017 and the tent stage of Fluff 2017)."

"Their second LP "Separation Anxiety" releases April 27, 2018 on the labels Dog Knights Production, IFB Records, and React With Protest. The band are planning further tours in 2018 which will include appearances at Miss The Stars festival in May and Cry Me A River in June."


The opener "Getting Older Younger" hits the ground running with a sonic assault of high energy, and starts the album off with a definite highlight. "Automate Me" opens with some shouted vocals and sharp rhythmic work before devolving into total chaos in the latter half. Next up is "Curriculum", which hits hard at some break-neck speeds. It enters into a chant-like interlude in the center of the song, which is accented by the gong of a distorted bass.

"Ceaseless Tumult" begins with a wash of cymbals and gentle arpeggios, before rocketing into blast beat dissonance. The band brings a sense of melody back later in the track with a stop-and-start bridge. "Being Sick on a Merry-Go-Round" lays a bass riff down as its backbone, whilst the vocals are primarily sung and the track slowly builds momentum.

"Be a Man" features one of my favourite moments on the record, where about one-third in the vocals spit very intensely, and the band holds down a menacing rhythm, all the while a somber guitar arpeggio is heard in the background. The track closes out with some of the harshest vocals on the record, paired with one of the quietest instrumental bits. Lyrically, it's a biting critique of "masculinity" told through its stereotypical rules. A definite personal highlight.

"Boundless Torpor" launches back into their signature gut-punch, but inevitably takes the road less travelled by breaking into some angelic vocals in its rolling outro.  "Have You Considered a Balanced Diet?" is rhythmically throttling, making for one of the most chaotic tracks in the listing, but a superb song nonetheless. "Tired of Being Tired of Being Tired" has a title that harkens back to their debut LP. This song features some heavy riffage, and guttural vocals. This one never ceases for a breather like its counterpart does.

Separation Anxiety closes with what could be considered the greatest track on here. It acts as the perfect culmination of all the ideas previously explored. It goes down so many avenues, with every vocal styling on display here, and its off-kilter, dissonant rhythms, rolling drum patterns, and heavy build-ups dominating the first half. The scene cuts to black before the spotlight hits some solitary, serene guitar work and echoing, sung vocals. "Reduced Possibility; Endangered Determinism" is the perfect end to this perfect album. It's a rare occurrence to hear a band push the envelope on a genre already mastercrafted by so many incredible acts, but Cassus take the plunge into the unique and experimental, making them a definite talking point for screamo fans. They've done their incredible debut justice with this follow-up, which will definitely be leaving wakes in its path throughout the remainder of 2018.

Separation Anxiety is out today (April 27th). You can buy a copy on their Bandcamp (or iTunes) today, with two tracks available for streaming here. The vinyl (with incredible artwork and a beautiful pressing) can be ordered from Dog Knights Productions below, as well as IFB Records and React with Protest soon. You can stream the album in full below. Enjoy!






  1. Thanks for heads up on this band. I have your blog in my RSS feed so I see what you post every day. Thanks

  2. Thanks for the review, great album and I went straight to Bandcamp to get a copy. Found a link to a cheaper release...