CATHARSIS - Rhyming Life and Death (MAD LION - CD 2014)
Have you ever heard of band called Catharsis? Haha, yes, I know it is a foolish question, because this is one of the most common band names! So, which Catharsis I mean, if Metal Archives mentions 14 bands with this moniker and I am not even counting the K-atharsis, Kaa-tharsis or whatever?! Seriously, it is just unserious. Anyways, this Catharsis is Polish and they’re probably among the oldest bands with this name, being formed originally in 1992. But I doubt they’re well known even in the Polish underground. They did a 1993 demo and 1995 full length album, but then split up and were silent for nearly twenty years. And now Catharsis is back after almost two decades with their second album and new line up. Honestly, I don’t remember ever hearing their old recordings. I have seen such “Bitter Disdain” tape several times, but never bothered to give it a listen, so knowing Catharsis only by the name I simply had no bad or good feelings about their sudden comeback. Mad Lion Records has released their new CD “Rhyming Life and Death” and that’s what you should know at least!
So, I didn’t really expect much after “Rhyming Life and Death”, after all 90% of bands, which is described as technical or progressive death metal lays far from my usual interest and musical taste. And it doesn’t help if you mention bands like Death, Atheist, Sceptic, Sepsis, Esquarial or even Trauma as their main influences, as I am simply not that big fan of any of them (well, maybe except Trauma). But yes, certainly the music on “Rhyming Life and Death” is very close to these mentioned bands. It has similar feeling and technical riffing, with quite cool bass and drums arrangements, some really good riffs, including few melodic parts (especially the guitar leads), etc. Luckily, the music is also quite dynamic and energetic, so it’s not so dull as some of the mentioned bands. So, even if I am usually listening to more aggressive and obscure type of bands, then I can still quite enjoy Catharsis. It’s simply solid and well written music… OK, I will call it progressive death metal, why not!? I am actually quite surprised myself that some of these songs are so easily listenable, like “Without Vocation”, “Those Who Have Never Risen” for instance or my favourite “Ecological Violence”. Oh, I need to also say that the production is really nice, heavy and clear, perfectly fitting this kind of death metal.
What I don’t like most about “Rhyming Life and Death” are both piano interludes, which I think are absolutely unnecessary… I also don’t like that fragment with female vocals in “Breath of Death”, because they sound just not good and I hate to hear such in death metal. Generally though I can admit that this is a solid, decent album. Well, I guess that Catharsis is sort of band, which has quite big commercial potential and if their music was promoted well enough then this name would be more known around the European circles. I guess that even fans of such Arch Enemy would like it a lot. So, if you care about any of the bands I mentioned in this review, then don’t hesitate and find a copy of “Rhyming Life and Death”. I don’t think I will be coming back to this album often, but I can appreciate the quality of Catharsis music.
Standout tracks: “Without Vocation”, “Those Who Have Never Risen”, “Ecological Violence”
Final rate: 60/100