As the CEO of Spotify said, it’s “not enough” for artists to release [good] music “every three to four years.” It has been, quite prophetically, four years since Katalepsy’s last release, Gravenous Hour. While the Spotify CEO can eat a bag of shit and wash it down with donkey piss, had Katalepsy stopped at their prior LP we might be saying that it clearly was not enough. Why doesn’t this band put out music more frequently, and, more importantly, why isn’t all their output as good as their debut LP Autopsychosis?
“The God of Grave” is a showcase of Katalepsy’s talent (even if it ain’t that versatile). The track crescendos into a slamming, brutal attack pounding the one-two rhythm directly into your skull via 24v hammer drill. But “The God of Grave” doesn’t simply slam and stomp on everything in its path—there’s such an adept handling of the composition that catchy bridges abound with or without vocals. The guitars run a buzzsaw of nearly harmonious leads that bring the band out of the stereotypical rhythmic-based attack. That is, of course, despite the absolutely sick breakdown loaded with pant-splitting vocals and hardcore-inspired air punching. At just over five minutes, “The God of Grave” is the second longest track on Terra Mortuus Est, but it’s also potentially the most subtly genius. Look for polyrhythms and harmonies to highlight what is simply a perfect composition.
In another move of brilliance, the nearly-tech “No Rest No Peace” weaves a tapestry relying heavily on crunchy riffs and rolling double bass. The track opens with a legitimately swinging riff that gets hammered home when the drums drop an alternating bass pattern complete with rolls and snaps. The track then falls into speeds nearing tech death, complete with discordant picking, squeals and shimmies. The heart of the tune remains the thing that Last Rites is forever impressed with: riffs. There is no way that a fan of the heavy metals could hear this cut without getting a wide, toothy grin and dropping into a bent knee circle-bang. This music just invites the child in you to leap forth and shake you into happiness, despite the 1976 Ford Pinto you’re having trouble getting started today.
The album closes with “Land of Million Crosses,” which itself opens with ambient fog sounds and whispered poetry while guitars play in the background. The track feels as if it’s almost… summoning nature into brutal death metal? That can’t be. Thankfully, we don’t have to question it. Katalepsy is ready to twist, explode and devastate within the first minute. No mortal-made dam can hold back these oceans of slam for very long. Thus, no matter how much atmosphere Katalepsy overlays (and there is plenty), they are still going to ruin your brain cells by the time the track fades out.
Only time will tell if Terra Mortuus Est lives up to the hype and longevity of Autopsychosis, but for now it’s enough to say that in a year somewhat bereft of decent slams, Katalepsy is a welcome addition (joining Devangelic, Defeated Sanity and Cordyceps) to Slam Team Worldwide™️ 2020 Edition. Suffice it to say that if these bands toured (you know, if there wasn’t a pandemic on), this would be one hell of a neck-and-back-breaking affair.
Katalepsy’s Terra Mortuus Est is ready to stand strong with the bro-power of slam metal alongside any of the contemporary greats. This album is not only proof of that fact, it’s proof positive. A double negative has led to proof positive.