Review: Catharsis – Rhyming Life And Death

Location: Tychy, Poland
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Released: March 28, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Recent Releases

By: Kris Kotlarik

It has been a long time since Catharsis released an album. This is their first effort since a hiatus that spanned almost 15 years, and only their second-ever release. So what does this technical death metal band from South-Central Poland bring to the table after such a long break? Basically, this is what Immolation would be if they decided to go off the script more often. And I make that comparison in part because the vocalists for each respective band sound so similar to each other. If you’re looking for death metal with some excellent bass grooves, then this will also be of interest to you.

There are a couple of complete songs on Rhyming Life And Death, and most of them (except for the abhorrently unnecessary intro that I will char to a crisp later) are full of excellent moments. “Those Who Have Never Risen” starts out with a solid intro, then takes over with a thrash metal feel. It only gets better with a long instrumental bridge section. “Ecological Violence” closes off the album with a drum intro before building up into an aggressive riff that continues to build on itself throughout, and I consider this to be the best track here.

“Breath of Death” features some clean vocals and has a nice ending. “Without Vocation” starts rather slowly but is arguably the most varied track, with an especially stellar passage starting at around 3:05, and another in the final ninety seconds. “The Art Of Life” is similar, but a little bit less varied. It starts with a long bass-heavy groove and is a heavy, pummeling effort. The chorus, as far as death metal goes, is actually quite catchy. Following the first chorus is another well-written bridge section.

“Norwegian Impressions (Burning Churches)” could have worked as a short interlude; it’s basically a four-minute piano song with wind noise in the background. It would have actually served as a far better intro than the absolute trainfire that the actual intro itself. In almost every album review I have done so far, I have criticized the introduction for being pointless, generic noise that adds absolutely nothing to the album’s sound. “Intro: Creeping Sadness And Everlasting Hope” is the worst offender of this I have ever encountered. The beginning is nice enough, featuring a slow and melancholy piano rhythm that sounds like it might develop into something. Unfortunately, the rest of it turns into a sobbing convention, with crying occupying the second half of it. Consider this an open letter to everyone releasing albums in the future: If you want a shot at a 4.5 or 5.0 rating from me, either create an introduction that makes a contribution to the album or just skip it and go straight to the good stuff.

Overall: If you put “Norwegian Impressions” in as the intro, it turns into an excellent, cohesive album. As is, it’s too choppy and uneven. 

Rating: 3.0*

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