PEOPLE OF KITCHENER, ONTARIO! YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!
It’s Okay – there’s no need for you to take any action now, and certainly no need to start panic buying, but I have alerted the relevant authorities in your area to the possibility that somehow, someone has been tampering with your water supply.
I’ve now arrived at the conclusion that large amounts of heavy metals have been introduced into your reservoirs, as it’s the only possible excuse for the appearance of an album that is currently rattling my neighbour’s kitchen extension to it’s very foundations.
The album in question is In Absence by your own – your very own – Cathartic Demise. Don’t say your weren’t warned.
Good God almighty this is a superb, rip-snorting Beast of an album. Top to bottom, front to back, it positively oozes, no bleeds, heavy metal. Third track in, Blade in the Dark is just about as good as it gets in the world of modern death metal, for a start, but where most bands would be content to leave it at that – one ace on the pack – these lads keep on churning the bastards out. Pale Imitations adds skiploads of doom to the equation, but at whatever speed the band attack the job at hand, they sound like steely eyed contenders, let me tell you.
Disparity piles on the agony with some facemelting lead work from Taylor Wroblewski – it’s a cliché, but his solos at the end of this track are indeed worth the price of admission on their own – and his surgical precision is counterpointed superbly by the riff-based savagery of Bennett Smith‘s rhythm axes. It’s a sulphurous marriage made in hell, and I can’t get enough of it.
Bennett will also throw you through the back wall of whatever space you happen to be listening in with the wild-eyed conviction of his vocal delivery; strangely, despite howling like a man enjoying some anaesthetic-free dentistry, he occasionally emits weird, skewed melodies to add to the fun, always backed up to the hilt the basically inhuman drumming of Angus Pike, who’s kick drum fusillades have to be heard to be believed.
Underneath all this Aaron Tanner hammers away like a man demented, whacking his bass to within an inch of it’s life just to get a note in edgeways amongst the carnage being wrought elsewhere. When he does, on the title track for instance, well… let’s just say there can’t be many better sounds coming outta Canada at the moment.
To my surprise I’ve encountered a fair few top-notch death metal albums this year already, and this is up there with the best of them. If death is your thing, then you need to dive right in to this rattler of an album.
In Absence is out now.