On the back of a brutal death album that is far too catchy for it’s own good, Katalepsy are back with an all new, all singing beast of the most barbaric nature. Not the usual Unique Leader product by any breath, Gravenous Hour picks up where the Russians left off on Autopsychosis and takes flight to the distant, irradiated air of the future. This future does not look very bright. In a world where the tighest scales and the cleanest tones dominate the lands, the sounds bellowing from this record cry on behalf of the blood and dirt sodden proletariat. Mosh fast, die young, destroy the bourgeoisie.
Class metaphors aside, the determination and hard work of this group is fucking stupendous. Not known for pulling punches or leaving the difficult stuff for special occasions, Gravenous Hour shows these musicians at their most devastating best. Somewhere deep in the cacophony of tar lunged vocals and whiplash friendly drumming lives a guitar and bass attack so pleasing, Katalepsy should be charging for the privilege.
Why Unique Leader embarked on this particular Eastern venture is pretty clear once the short introduction track dances out of the way; an intro track that only begins to tease at some tasty bass skills. Snapping from low end riffs and high register sweeps and solos, every track on this (maybe too) long record burns through a butt load of brutal movements. By the time “To The Lords Of Nihil” reaches it’s violent climax, three tracks in, there’s a brutal death metal BINGO of dive bombs, gravity blasts, beat downs and everything else necessary to have a good time in a tech death party or a brutal basement show. Now…. onto the FakeDown™.
The FakeDown™ (building up to a sick, spin kicking breakdown only to fuck the listener with a different progression altogether) will not be particularly new to fans of metal; they’re not hard to find. Katalepsy just do it better than all the rest. “Monastery Of Nothing” hints at dropping a bomb for a good few minutes with jittery riffs and more build up than a virgin’s first finger. It’s justified because the band carry on to drop some of the crunchiest slam breakdowns to ever grace a dance hall. All of this, wrapped up perfectly in a package designed for utter devastation and the caving in of aural cavities.
At points a blight on the overall impact this album has, the production of everything that makes up Katalepsy is crucial, crushing and, at points, hilarious. The guitars are muddy to the point where the low end belches out in the most vile of manners, making chunky riffs in “The Long Bright Darkness” (awful title) and “Grave New World” (great title) hit so hard it’s funny. The bass on this record is an ever present is much like the smelly kid at school who collects his chewed nails and is always lurking menacingly in the background; it cuts in from out of nowhere with something piercing and poignant to say on the regular. Slap on some funky ride bell and earthy drum sounds and it’s safe to say death metal doesn’t often sound as gritty and glorious as this.
If Job For A Cowboy‘s Suneater is Robert Patrick’s T-1000 then Gravenous Hour is one of those lo-fi, early edition Terminators that barely passes as human but still kicks ass like it’s fast going out of fashion. Brought down only by it’s sheer length and overpowering nature – some more of the restraint shown in the album’s opening and closing tracks would go a long way towards making this a world beater – Katalepsy’s latest makes mince meat of it’s label mates recent efforts. It’s likely this will blow them straight out of the sky, crashing down into the dirt where this particular beast thrives. Mosh fast, die young, kill the bourgeoisie.