I think everyone who is a fan of Metal goes through some phase of being ‘trve’ whether that be Black and Death Metal or simply hating Pop music and listening to Slipknot. There is a certain hatred of other genres in Metal which is kind of odd given the massive expanse of the genre. Yet it’s something that can affect all fans, for example I was turned off Brutal Death for the simple fact that there were too many Deathcore bands. I also didn’t like the more Sci-fi approach of many bands. However now I’m over it, sure I like the Slams, the gore, the samples, the hideous artwork, the full package. Yet I’m willing and ready to accept differing forms of Death Metal, it’s made me a better fan and my enjoyment all the more rewarding.
One such band whom I felt rather turned from is the Russian Brutal Death machine that is Katalepsy. The Musick Brings Injuries EP I found to be very formative in my love of the genre, again with the Triumph Of Evilution split with Fleshrot and Blunt Force Trauma. Then I kind of lost interest, but the bands output has still garnered praise, namely the bands sophomore full length Gravenous Hour. So with the bands ‘Evilution’ in mind it would be fitting to add that the band have transitioned into a more Tech sound, but is this always good? Let us see in the bands third full length Terra Mortuus Est, put out through Unique Leader Records.
Opening the album is Closer Than Flesh, pretty massive in sound and barbaric Brutal Death delivery. The vocals take on a less guttural approach, almost blending in a sort of Hardcore sound. I’m slightly sceptical of this but if you’re in the mood for something tough then it’s better than Deathcore. There is certainly no overbearing Tech as we move into Night Of Eden, and the guitar sections that do get a bit more involved only serve to compliment the sound. I think the album has moments where it gets all tough, one such moment being The God Of Grave. It’s like a cross between Slam and Groove Metal, now I’m not a fan of the later and personally I feel it detracts from the musicianship displayed. There are a few more Tech nods in the title track which is a nice addition, however by this point the ideas are becoming a touch overdone and not really very thoughtful.
Truth be told as we pass into the second half of the album through Kings Of The Underground and Deep Down Madness I’m left a little bit unimpressed. Nothing new or innovative, none the less entertaining but not something mind blowing. From The Dark Past (They Come) flirts with Slam and has some tasty chucks of Tech here and there, this is the kind of sound I imagined for this record and something that brings the listeners attention back into focus. Again Neonomicon III displays some truly striking guitar work that sounds totally different to a lot of other bands out there, if Katalepsy could stick with this then they’d be on to a winner. The final song Land Of A Million Crosses is the exact thing one would expect to hear, big, mildly Tech, Brutal Death and a longer track. I think Katalepsy should focus more on this sound than the apparent filler littered throughout.
Terra Mortuus Est is the very definition of a hit or miss record. At points it’s innovative, captivating and savage. Yet at other points it comes across like a sub standard Deathcore album. To me the key is hidden in the Tech, if this is amped up and combined with more guttural vocals then Katalepsy are onto a total winner. However whilst they continue to fragment their albums with generic Groove infused songs they will fail to have a real hit. The energy is there and so is the sound, let’s hope next time the band can make it happen as there is so much promise here.
(7/10 George Caley)