Interview: CATHARSIS (Poland)

Interview: CATHARSIS (Poland)

- in Written interviews

Polish extreme metallers Catharsis are back with a new release after 8 years. Human Filures will be released on June 25th via Mad Lion records, and with this occasion, I had the pleasure to speak with two of the band members, Adam (vocals/bass) and Kate (guitar), which they’ve talked the new album, the recording of it, the sound, featured guests and others.

First of all I’d like to begin by asking why took you so long to release a new album? There’re about 8 years!
Kate: Yes, it might seem a long wait, but to be completely honest with you, I’m happy, that we recorded this album now, having the experience we gained during those years and being in the place, where we as a band work on a completely different level than we were when „Rhyming Life And Death” was in the making. The band has been reorganized and we developed a better approach to what we’re doing and a more precise and conscious vision of it. We had some line up changes in the meantime as well, which always keeps you back for a while. Plus, we’re all busy with our regular jobs and can’t always focus on music, even though we would like to. But hey, they say that nothing worth having comes easy. I’m really glad, that we are releasing Human Failures now and that it’s not a copy-paste 90’s technical death metal album. Sometimes it’s better to face the fact, that the 90’s are over and done. And we’re also done with random experiments, which happened on the „Rhyming…” album. It was incoherent and unnecessary. I think that Human Failures is a strong guidepost for us for the band’s future, which might get even heavier and more extreme.

When did you start writing the new album music and how the recordings went?
Adam: We started composing the new album right after the release of Rhyming Life and Death and planned to record it in 2017/2018. Unfortunately, in 2016, our longtime guitarist, Tomasz Świerz decided to leave the band. Fortunately, after a few months, Kajetan Pawliszyn joined, but some time passed before we managed to work together. Additionally, there was a problem with the drummer and composing the drum line all the time. Eventually, Kate contacted Eugene Ryabchenko, who composed fantastic drums, which allowed us to create a demo version of the album Human Failures. However, life is not so easy, Eugene, who was to enter the studio with us, had to go on tour with other bands. Thanks to Heinrich from Heinrich House Studio, we got in touch with Dariusz „Daray” Brzozowski, who recorded this album with us. The recording itself lasted a total of 3 weeks and was spread over several sessions. We have other professional obligations, so we don’t have the option to enter the studio and record everything in one shoot. We are very pleased with this session. This is a huge step ahead for Catharsis.

Listening to Human Failures, I noticed not only the death metal sound, but here and there some black metal elements. Do you agree with it? How did you approach the sound for Human Failures?
Kate: I plead guilty. For the last 5 years I have been strongly influenced by the Swedish black metal scene and it obviously shows in my guitar playing and composing. I had the impression, that an additional layer of mild black metal aesthetics would do no harm to the overall sound, but give it a fresh vibe. It’s like still wearing your favorite dress but with different accessories, right? So when we started to work on the bass lines that Adam brought to the rehearsals, the riffs that I suggested to match them were not always typically technical death metal. I’m totally in love with black metal harmonies and all those disonant sounds, which happen on treble strings when you’re playing an open chord. I needed to find a space for at least a little taste of those ispirations and luckily, the guys liked it.

Describe the Human Failures.
Adam: Well, it is definitely a different album than Rhyming Life and Death. It contains seven songs and a total length of nearly 60 minutes. It’s much faster, darker and more aggressive than our previous recordings. Traditionally, we attach great importance to the lyrics with a specific messages. The album will be released on June 25th via Mad Lion Records and everyone should interpret Human Failures according to their own expectations.

I think ”Village Of Witches’’ is one of your best songs of the album. Starting with the intro, till the end!
Adam: Thank you so much. I am very happy with this opinion, although we have many other songs on this album that stand out. “Village of Witches” is a track that was released as a single on June 4th. It is a dark story about places where elderly women are sent accused of witchcraft and casting spells on other people. All it takes is a minor reason and they are exposed to mortal danger. Musically, it is a brilliant concert piece that we will definitely be playing live.

You got Dariusz ”Daray’’ on drums and as a guest vocalist on track no4 ”Made Of Blood’’ Immolation’s Ross Dolan. How was it recording with Daray and why did you choose Ross to be the guest vocalist?
Adam: As I mentioned before, the recording with Daray was a great pleasure. Ross –  on the other hand – is a completely different story. When we were working on “Made of Blood” during the rehearsal, I mentioned once that in the chorus it would be perfect to have Ross Dolan’s vocal from Immolation. I am a big fan of this band. Anyway, I started to correspond with their guitarist Bob Vigna in 1995, but this is thanks to Kate. She knows Ross Dolan and invited him to our recording session. Everything went very smoothly. For me, it’s an amazing situation for Ross on the Catharsis album. Needless to say, his growl is absolutely brilliant.

You don’t have a drummer for now. Do you intent to recruit one and have a complete line-up?
Adam: Yes of course. We want to start concerts as soon as the pandemic is under control.

Kate, you are also a metal journalist like me, working in the law area, guitarist in an extreme metal band. My question is, as a female into metal, what’s your opinion about “female in metal“ labeled as a genre many times and your opinion in general about women in metal, which sometimes, there is all about sexism, in the fans eyes. What can you answer about it?
Kate: I think everywhere, not only in the metal community, you can find both men who treat women with respect and sexist idiots. I wish I could say all my experiences as a journalist and a guitarist have been nice, but fortunately most of the time I feel like I’m being treated with respect and courtesy. It also depends on what you consider „equal” treatment of men and women in metal, right? I once heard a female metal musician saying, that she feels offended when her male bandmates offer her help in carrying heavy gear or open the door for her. I was like „What’s your problem with that?”. Trouble is, some girls tend to appear more extreme and more male than men and try prove their worth with manly looks and behaviour, like being a woman was some kind of shame. I might have done that in my high school years, but right now I don’t think you’d see me wearing oversized cargo pants and combat boots, drinking beer straight from a can after a gig. I can shred my guitar to hell wearing goddamn stilletos and I don’t give a shit what anybody thinks about it.

I’d like both of you to mention your 5 favorite metal bands.
Kate: Love eternal, Megadeth. Dave Mustaine was my first guitar idol and when I was younger I wanted to be…sort of a female version of him. That’s where most of the melodic approach towards writing music that I got, came from. Another huge influence was Pantera and Dimebag Darrell, mostly regarding rhythm guitars and groovy riffing. Then, most of the melodic inspirations towards composing lead guitars came from listening to old Paradise Lost stuff, up till the legendary Draconian Times album. All those bands were my early influences when I started to learn how to play the guitar. And then I discovered more extreme music, which offers great variety of stuff worth mentioning, but if we are supposed to name only 5 bands, for death metal guitar playing I would say Krisiun and for black metal, Marduk.
Adam: It’s hard to limit everything to just 5 bands, but let’s try. The first one is Metallica, because they started my journey with heavy metal. Certainly Death, especially from their albums Human and Individual Thoughts Patterns. Morbid Angel, who showed not only how death metal should sound, but also everything that is around the band, including a very important visual aspect. Another band that brought me down to my knees is Aheist. I learned the most from the bassists from their first three albums Roger Patterson and Tony Choy. What Roger composed on bass is absolutely amazing. The fifth inspiration is Iron Maiden. I could talk about them endlessly. They are great.

What are your next plans regarding Catharsis?
Adam: We will release Human Failures at the end of June, but this is not about the music only. We have prepared really good merch, also for girls, so we encourage you to visit the online store, where you will surely find something interesting for you. At the end of June we will be recording a lyrics video for one of the songs and we can’t wait. We are open to concert offers and we will definitely hit the stage. Stay tuned.

Thanks a lot to both of you for your time having this interview, it was my pleasure. Hope to see you soon!
Thank you so much. Stay safe and see you soon!

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