Very little Russian metal makes its way into the western audience's lap, but Moscow miscreants Katalepsy are among the bigger names that have broken through the barrier with their bludgeoning brand of brutal death metal.
Early efforts were fairly standard slam/brutal death metal affairs. Over the top cover art, vocals that sound like they were recorded by a man drowning in mud and a barrage of chugging riffs. But the band have shown a constant path of evolution; first album proper 2013's ‘Autopsychosis’ started to blend in more technical elements that came fully to the fore on 2016's ‘Gravenous Hour’, so it's no shock that the band have added another twist on this new album.
‘Terra Mortuus Est’ is groovy as fuck! Don’t despair though, they’ve not morphed into a second-rate Pantera clone, they’re still at their brutal best and there are still plenty of nods to the old slam days. This is the by far the most accomplished the band have ever sounded, tying every element the band has toyed with over the years into eleven incredibly well-crafted songs and one superbly cohesive album. With that in mind, it's genuinely hard to pick out a standout track; the quality throughout is incredible, but the title track is glowing example of how the band have melded all the elements together in seamless perfection. ‘Terra Mortuus Est’ is an album showcasing a band at the very top of their game, suffocatingly heavy yet oddly accessible, this is one of the best death metal albums of the year.
Its time to stop considering Katalepsy as a great brutal death/slam band and just recognise them as a great death metal band full stop.
'Terra Mortuus Est' is out now via Unique Leader