Hot damn, Death Metal really pumps my nads! And the band I’m currently grooving to on an almost daily basis is none other than KATALEPSY from Russia, and their sophomore album Gravenous Hour (out now on Unique Leader Records). From what I’m told, this record is a big departure from their previous effort Autopsychosis. Apparently that one was full-on slam, which I like sometimes, but not all that often. Eschewing that for a more Technical Death Metal approach this time around, I hear a band that can throw down on their instruments without shoving their musical abilities down our throats.
As soon as opener “Blindead Sultan” started I was like, “Yep, this is a Unique Leader band. I’m in for a treat.” As many of you know I am a big fan of this label and just about every band that gets sent my way leaves me drooling for more. There are some crazy changes and arrangements amongst the sheer brutality and it kind of keeps you guessing. Pretty cool, eh? “To the Lords of Nihil” was an instant standout. I love the guitar tones and the rapid fire drumming coupled with the nasty growls. And speaking of nasty, “Critical Black Mass”delivers and then some! This was arguably my favorite on the whole disc.
“The Long Bright Darkness” is sonically the most unique cut due to the unusual sound, but it’s a good unusual, while “Monastery of Nothing” will blast beat the living shit out of you and you’ll like it. Score! Six songs in and the production from Arkady Navaho is simply top notch. Sometimes tech death can sound too clinical and sterile, but the feel is more organic than most across all of these tracks. “After Omega” starts out all piss and vinegar then turns into more of a slow grind before it resumes the beating again. If I’m feeling particularly bothered or stressed at the day gig, a song like “Grave New World” is perfect for calming me down and getting me back on an even keel. Something about it just soothes me.
There’s definitely a lot to like about later tracks “Ghoul Inquisitor” and “Tephra.” From the guitar and bass tones, to the drumming, to the in your face vocals, these two should impress most death aficionados. Closing the disc is instrumental “In the River of Red” which I thought was strange at first, but it fits within the framework of the album as a whole. Overall I think KATALEPSY did a great job with Gravenous Hour and this is one that will stay in heavy rotation for quite some time here at A&GS HQ.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Grave New World”, “To the Lords of Nihil”, “Critical Black Mass”, “Monastery of Nothing”, “Ghoul Inquisitor”