“Composing is different for every new song. I feel like every composition has its individual “personality”, if you will. After listening back to the final mixes for the first time, I felt closure. The compositions are not mine anymore, but they’re out there on their own .” – Christoph Teuschel
The new album, “caged in helices”, started taking shape in 2018, when the composer of behind closed doors, Christoph Teuschel, played the first notes on his guitar and started working on the demos.
The outcome is an amalgam of antagonisms: ferocious, polyrhythmic riffs are juxtaposed with tender moments where time seems to be frozen. Three of the songs feature a string quartet that integrates into the band’s sound in a most natural way and adds up to the uniqueness of behind closed doors’ music.
For writing his music, Christoph receives inspiration from various types of art that he admires: from paintings to old movies and music. Ingmar Bergman’s movies and Gloria Coates’ symphonies were sources of inspiration for this album. Christoph drew inspiration from Gloria Coates’ use of glissandi, and he experimented with the many textures a string quartet can provide on three of the six compositions.
“I believe there are artworks in the world that can penetrate someone’s soul instantly. In such a case, one is captivated by that work and feels a deep connection and understanding, also turmoil and maybe even horror. One can also not escape, you can’t ‘defend’ yourself from that work of art. It lingers. Not an easy task to describe the emotional impact of art with language, but this is my attempt to put into words what it’s like for me to listen to Gloria Coates’ music.” – Christoph
Bergman’s craft and eye for detail, his involvement in every aspect of the images, and his authentic movies that make one contemplate and inspire one to dig as deep as possible left their mark on the new compositions. Christoph says that Bergman inspired “details like rhythmic placement and feel, dynamics, juxtaposing dense and busy moments with room for the song to breathe, and the sound design of individual instruments and how they sound collectively. Every tiny part of the mosaic has weight.”
“caged in helices” was composed over the course of 2018 and 2019. After Christoph finished all the songs, he worked on them together with Fred and Yuma, who brought their own contributions to the final version.
Drums, bass, and guitar were recorded at Hertz Studio in Poland in March 2021. After two weeks of intense work (nine hours a day), the results were more than satisfactory. The Wiezlawski brothers and their assistant Karol were very helpful in the band’s quest to find “their” sound for the record.
Behind closed doors aspired to record everything note by note, with minimal use of the shortcuts modern recording technology has to offer, as authentic as possible. The Wiezlawski brothers resonated with the band’s approach to the process, making it easier to work together and understand each other.
The next piece of the puzzle, the string quartet, was recorded at Warning Studio in Amsterdam in June 2021. For this part, behind closed doors worked with a trio of string players: Dutch composer/multi-instrumentalist Oene van Geel, cellist Anne Tangberg (from Metropol Orchestra) and violinist Ben Mathot (Ayreon). Their outstanding musicianship transformed the compositions that feature a string quartet into the ultimate vision for the album. Final adjustments were made in September, back at Hertz Studio, and “caged in helices” was ready to start its journey into the world of metal music.
The list of songs
“caged in helices” is composed of:
- the anti will
- kaleidoscope antlers
- the essence of doubt
- black pyramid
- per aspera ad astra – but why and for what
- in all but name
The names of the songs were chosen carefully and might provide a starting point to explore, as does the haiku that accompanies the record. While there is an idea, a feeling or a topic behind every song, the band would prefer to refrain from explaining it, leaving the listener to interpret it and find something individual in it.
For the two weeks of recording in Poland, filmmaker Dries Alkemade joined behind closed doors to document the entire process. Dries followed the band during their time in the studio, as well as outside of it, and he put together a documentary that will be released together with the album. This documentary should give us a glimpse into the work of everyone involved and the intense process of recording an album.
“caged in helices” will be released on all digital platforms and on vinyl, on October 28, 2022. You can join the release concert at the LittleDevil Bar in Tilburg on the same date. Christoph is already working on new compositions, so the future holds more music by behind closed doors.
- Behind Closed Doors – Caged In Helices (My Redemption Records, 2022) (Post-Rock / Metal) – by Carrysnewundergroundmusic.
- “caged in helices” review by Suffissocore
- In the De Subjectivisten by Jan William
- DISCORYCHION / VINYLMINE
- The Prog Space