Sunday 30 October 2016

Katalepsy - Gravenous Hour


1. In The Dark of Stars
2. Blinded Sultan
3. To The Lords Of Nihil
4. Critical Black Mass
5. The Long Bright Darkness
6. Monastery Of Nothing
7. After Omega
8. Grave New World
9. Ghoul Inquisiter
10. Tephra
11. In The River Of Red

Having already feature Cancerous Womb and Virvum as part of my little series on death metal, the next two is gonna be decidedly heavier, starting with Katalepsy. "Gravenous Hour" was released in May via Unique Leader Records and is Russian band's second full-length. They released their debut album "Autopsychosis" via the same label back in 2013. They've recently been playing some shows in Europe, though they didn't make it the UK this time around.

"Gravenous Hour" begins with a menacing intro piece called In The Dark Of Stars. The brooding guitar melodies are quiet haunting, but it’s backed up by jazz-like bass, which sounds really cool. They open up the loud pedal on Blinded Sultan. Their brand of death metal is more brutal and technical than it is progressive. To The Lords Of Nihil is filled with groove despite it’s off-kilter nature. Listening to this album reminds me of the difference in production and sound created by seemingly similar bands. Some albums I’ve reviewed recently (i’ll use Virvum’s “Illuminance” as an example) sound big volume-wise and quite engaging. This record is different because the drums seem to dominate the sound more, which means that the volume of rest of the instrumentation and indeed the vocals on the recording are effected slightly. Thankfully that’s only a minor quibble and the consistent quality and heaviness of songs like Critical Black Mass makes up for it. It’s the contrast of both groove and technicality that really makes this record. The Long Bright Darkness has a huge amount crammed into it’s four+ minutes. Monastery Of Nothing follows in very much the same vein and keeps momentum high. The latter half of “Gravenous Hour” ups the urgency, which is nuts considering the brutality on show. After Omega’s drumming is inhumane and whole effect is head-spinning, especially when you’re hungover from the night before! Grave New World passes by in a complete whirlwind of riffs. Ghoul Inquisiter takes on a bit of a sci-fi form (though that may be just my ears), thought there are no silly electronic effects thankfully. There’s something very rewarding about making it to penultimate track Tephra in one piece. That’s not doing this record a disservice either because it’s brilliantly performed and infectious all the way through. Final number In The River Of Red proves that you can be atmospheric while being brutal and it closes “Gravenous Hour” with instrumental virtuosity. Great stuff from a band that truly puts Russia on the extreme metal map. 

Stream and grab a download of "Gravenous Hour" below:-

Physical cds, vinyl and other merch can be picked up though Unique Leader's store here -

Katalepsy Facebook -
Unique Leader Records Facebook -

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