Thursday 27 April 2023

Cathartic - Through The Abysmal Gates Of Subconscious

Labels: Awakening Records/Concreto Records/Metal Coffin Records/Raise The Dead Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 26 Aug 2022


1. Beyond Grief

2. In The Pits Of Anguish

3. Vanish Into Oblivion

4. Gloomy Ways To Decay

5. Carried By The Wings Of Death

6. Hateful Faith

7. Path To Perdition

8. From The Unknown

9. Obliteration

What's not to like about Mexican death metal that pays homage to the Swedish way! That's what Guadalajara's Cathartic do on their debut full length 'Through The Abysmal Gates Of Subconscious'. The album was released back in August of last year by ever growing Chinese extreme metal label Awakening Records, as well as via Mexican labels Concreto Records and Metal Coffin Records soon after. It's getting the much deserved vinyl treatment later this year from UK label Raise The Dead Records too! Given that this is their debut record, it's pretty amazing to see that they're due to play alongside the likes of Dark Tranquility, Immolation and Grave amongst others in Mexico this September at Candelabrum Metal Festival.

Yes I know I’m behind on this one but part of the joy of music for me is discovering stuff at seemingly random times. I like how it often takes me by complete surprise. While I have a bit of a hankering for thrash metal at the moment, death metal’s a more than adequate substitute and Cathartic nail that old-school death/thrash sound on opener ‘Beyond Grief’. It’s rip-roaring and full of energy, while also being dirty enough to remind you that this is a debut album (though I have to say, the production and mastering job done here is spot on). 

There’s more rough and readiness to ‘In The Pits Of Anguish’ but it’s blasting percussion and frenetic riffs banish any notion that this is a release dreamt up by a demo band. Cathartic have chops and the song-writing skill to back them up. Their tempos range from mid-paced to fast and ‘Vanish Into Oblivion’ switches between the two with relative ease. At times the transitions do sound a little awkward but that doesn’t harm things too much, especially when Cathartic go into overdrive later on in the song, with the help of a subtle yet wailing solo.

I’ve read comments that almost consistently refer to the band’s love of HM2 guitar and I can hear exactly why people have drawn such comparisons on ‘Gloomy Ways To Decay’, where that really satisfying buzzsaw guitar sound comes through. The overall pace of this album is noticeably intense, even with the unnecessary pauses between songs. ‘Carried By The Wings Of Death’ is s sub five-minute barrage of the highest order. From it’s fierce first half to it’s more atmospheric, old-school latter that shows a different side to Cathartic, it’s pretty damn good!

I have to say that in variation terms the second half of Through The Abysmal Gates Of Subconscious is where it’s at for me. There’s a lot more lead work going on during the excellently titled ‘Hateful Faith’ and it really accentuates the raspy, growling vocals. ‘Path To Perdition’ is more stomping in places, but not in a slam-death way. It still has plenty of melody and personality hidden throughout it’s layers. Ear-to-ear grinning fun. 

From there you’re greeted with probably the gnarliest song of the whole record in the form of ‘From The Unknown’. It literally is from the unknown, bringing together everything that makes Cathartic great musically. The death metal community continues to expand and bring great bands to the fore of modern day extreme metal. Why can’t Cathartic be one of them! Closing with ‘Obliteration’, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that some kind of grind song awaits. Instead Cathartic provides a riff-filled instrumental that’s as catchy as it is precise, showing how musically excellent they are.

We all like different flavours from time to time and when you think how raw metal from Central and South America can be, Cathartic put Mexico on the map as a North American country that’s on the rise musically. A fact only made more real because both Chinese and UK labels (amongst others) have helped and are helping to spread their music far and wide.

You can stream and purchase the album digitally, as well as on CD and tape formats from Cathartic below:-

Cathartic -

Depending on where you are in the world, you can buy physical copies from the labels below:-

Awakening Records -

Concreto Records -

Metal Coffin Records -

Raise The Dead Records -

Awakening Records -

Concreto Records -

Raise The Dead Records -

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