Cathartic Demise - In Absence
Self Release
Progressive Thrash
9 songs (56' 29")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Andy
Album of the month

Unless it's on purpose, why haven't these Canucks got a record deal yet? The delightfully-named Cathartic Demise delivers the goods with their debut full-length, a luxurious pile of guitar-fueled thrash with shredding as clean and sharp as razors. It's still pretty early in the year, but this may be the best thing I've heard so far in 2021.

Imagine a band that spent their time unravelling the more progressive offerings of the Big Four, to the sound of early In Flames, and we come close to the sound they have on here -- but minus most of the late-90s vibe of the latter. Silence Within cycles through blastbeats and ultra-fast bass runs before bursting into maniacal thrashing, but ends with a mysterious-sounding bass progression that gets followed by the twin guitars, in variations of tune. Pale Imitations and Waves, on the other hand, start out doomy and stolid, building up in layers to the thrash. And rest assured, every song on here speeds up inevitably into absolute craziness.

Vocal-wise, Bennett Smith uses a hoarse melodeath-style delivery that goes well with the musical style, though it isn't a spectacular addition per se. Other melodeath elements reign on a number of these songs: Disparity, one of my favorites, has the blastbeat rage of late 90s melodeath bands down perfectly on the chorus, and the ultra-tight solo shredding runs on this track will bring a tear to the listener's eye, they're so good. The execution on this album is ferociously disciplined, yet every track bursts with energy in a headlong, breathless rush.

Unless one simply isn't a fan of progressive thrash or melodic death metal, it's very hard to find fault with In Absence. Give this a listen and then get ready to start putting in your credit card on Bandcamp.


Killing Songs :
Silence Within, Pale Imitations, Disparity
Andy quoted 91 / 100
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