Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Katalepsy - Autopsychosis

Katalepsy are Russian slam gods to some, but despite my enjoyment of the sub-subgenre I don't think I've ever enjoyed one of their releases. I reluctantly tried Autopsychosis hearing that they tech'd up their style to compete with all the goodness Russia seems to be pouring out lately (7 H.Target, new Abominable Putridity, etc.). The result is more brutal death metal than slam.

If there's one element I've always thought Katalepsy nailed on their past releases, it was their absolutely incredible bass tone. It's high in the mix, overdriven yet dry, and fucking heavy. Their bassist Anatoly is the only original member of the band left and goddamn is he talented. His fingerpicked basslines are the powerhouse behind every track on the obliteration machine that is Autopsychosis. They literally carve canyons into the earth upon which musical blood spills in rivers.

High register, time-signature-changing melodies aren't unheard of in slam, but the predominance of them on Autopsychosis in place of a consistent underlying groove is what makes it feel like less of slam album and more of a brutal death metal one. Opener "Lurking In The Depth" is a great example of this, being filled with a bunch of harmonic melodies. That's not to mention that the entire album is littered with pinch harmonics and chromatic riffing. You'd have to be psychotic (pun intended) to expect otherwise.

Nearly every track on Autopsychosis is memorable and thematically fitting. Slams occasionally pop up in rudimentary form, altering time signatures and playing to expectations. Potentially my favorite track on the album, "Cold Flesh Citadel" is rife with groove and descends into a prototypically beautiful slam at the end. It's followed by "The Pulse Of Somnambulist" which is equally compelling and bisected by a similar breakdown of convention. Short solos are interspersed throughout the album, but the guitarwork in general is impressive and fills any musical masturbation needs you may have. I know because I have quite a lot when it comes to brutal and technical death metal.

After awhile I would think this kind of music would become stale, but Katalepsy manage to needle your auditory receptors with little bits of groove during each riff, and then yank on them when they've got enough under your skin. I get pulled back into river of gore just in time to hit the rapids. Even the latter tracks on Autopsychosis have this effect. "Gore Conspiracy," slam-ringer "Amongst Phantom Worlds," and "Taedium Vitae" are all equals to their early occurring counterparts. The vocalist Igor is primarily to blame for this intoxicating effect, and his myriad styles carry the groove when the music wants to deviate, keeping the listener involved in the album.

The sound engineers at the Cosmos Studio in Moscow have outdone their previous efforts with Cephalic Impurity. Autopsychosis sounds phenomenal. It is surprisingly clean which I can see putting off some old fans and some individuals in search of dirty brutal death metal. The guitars are crunchy yet clear, the bass is brilliantly mixed, and drums are crisp. There's no ridiculous snare sounds here (sadly), and I guess the kicks could use a bit more 'oomph' to them, but for the most part this production works wonderfully.

Autopsychosis is a change of heart for me, and I would imagine for the band too having gone from playing slam to a more brutal death metal oriented style. Hopefully their next is as addicting as this one.

Disclaimer: I did not once listen to this while hitting the gym. Should get on that.

8.25 out of 10

1. Lurking In The Depth
2. Evidence Of Near Death (E.N.D.)
3. Body Bags For The Gods
4. Cold Flesh Citadel
5. The Pulse Of Somnambulist
6. Unearthly Urge To Supremacy
7. Gore Conspiracy
8. Amongst Phantom Worlds
9. Needles Of Hypocrisy (Interlude)
10. Knifed Humility
11. Taedium Vitae

Listen // Buy

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