Review: Catharsis “Human Failures” [Mad Lion Records]

Review: Catharsis “Human Failures” [Mad Lion Records]

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If you’ll search the band “Catharsis” on you’ll get 16 exact matches – looks like metalheads really love this name, so if you need some information about the band called like this, prepare for a long and patient searching. As they say, it was hard but I coped with the task and today we’ll talk about Catharsis from Poland, a Technical Death Metal band that releases its new album Human Failures.

A little bit of history: Catharsis was founded in 1992 by guitarist Daniel Petryczkiewicz and bassist/vocalist Adam Mamok. The band set a course for Technical Death Metal, inspired by Cynic, Atheist and of course Death. Next year their first demo Your Truth was released and later in 1995 there was a second one Bitter Disdain. However, due to lots of line-up changes, the band took a long brake until 2010. In 2014 they released their album Rhyming Life And Death and seven year and a some more line-up changes here comes their newest release Human Failures. Today Catharsis is: Adam Mamok (bass, vocals), Katarzyna ‘Kate’ Bujas (guitar) and Kajetan Pawliszyn (guitar). The drums were recorded by session drummer Dariusz ‘Daray’ Brzozowski (live-Dimmu Borgir, ex–Vader). You can also hear the vocals from Ross Dolan (Immolation) in mighty song “Made Of Blood” with good lyrics.

The album contains seven songs, which last 50 minutes – looks like the band wanted to give the listeners all the ideas they have accumulated last years and overall they did it. There is a huge amount of riffs and bridges in every song, tempo changings and some interesting solos sound from time to time. Bass lines are technical and would be more inherent to Progressive than Death, while drums are fast and brutal, like it should be. Adam’s low growl is surprisingly legible; at least there will be no problem to understand the lyrics in most of the songs.

At the same time you should not expect some incredible speed of play, musicians focused not on speed but brutality, techniques and atmosphere in some moments. Nevertheless, there is some old school Death Metal on the album as well, like “Your Truth”: double pedal, blast beats, brutal riffs, mighty bass and permanent changes of pace – it sounds like tread of something evil and inexorable that later gains tempo and covers the listener with a wave of brutality. A great interaction of guitars and bass should be also mentioned along with leisurely and quite melodic solo.

Talking about atmosphere, you can’t just pass by two longest tracks in Human Failures – “Village Of The Witches” and “House Of Sand And Fog”, which last eight and ten minutes respectively. “Village Of Witches” starts slow and grimly, with ominous guitar and almost Progressive bass line. Later some brutality adds to the music but the dark atmosphere still remains, along with some melody, unusual for such album. “House Of Sand And Fog” is atmospheric also but more diverse musically – there can be heard even some Black Metal passages, while close to the end the music gets melody and even some tragedy, especially in the background of terrified screams and atmospheric synths in the end.

Yet, the willing to merge as many riffs, bridges and themes as possible in one song doesn’t work sometimes because not all elements here are joined seamlessly. Sometimes such transitions are good or not cause some dissonance at least, but sometimes it is really affecting. At the same time I can’t say it makes this album “unlistenable” but it was really hard to get used to some moments. However, there are plenty of impressive moments as well, like the ending “My Last Words”, where Catharsis maintained a balance between techniques and brutality greatly. So, as a result, we have an interesting and brutal work but with some imbalance in it.

Human Failures will be released on June, 25th via Mad Lion Records.

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