Katalepsy - Terra Mortuus Est

Katalepsy are a Russian brutal death metal ground with technical elements thrown in and have been at home on Unique Leader Records for several years. Originally more of a slam death band in the vein of groups like Abominable Putridity, they’ve slowly evolved over their last 3 full lengths. Finally, it seems “Terra Mortuus Est” is their crowning jewel that sheds the last of the ‘slam death’ shadow and puts them in more of a brutal technical death area that is similar to groups like Cytotoxin, but with still the groove elements that makes slam death enjoyable. Think Sepultura meets Slaughter to Prevail with touches of Pathology when one listens to this album.

‘Closer than Flesh’ is a strong opener simply due to its chugging riffs, and the technicality isn’t in the guitars as much as one would think. It is really in the bass and drums. Vocally, the death grunts are not the most recognizable, but they come across cleaner and more polished than other brutal death bands like Disentomb. Katalepsy power through 11 tracks without any filler or interludes this time compared to past albums- everything just hits hard, but at more of a mid pace versus blinding speed where groups like Archspire can be overly technical; this pace allows the group to keep up the groove metal elements with traces of slam such as on ‘Those Who Rot the Souls’ which stomp along with no mercy but are rather accessible to new ears who aren’t used to hearing brutal or technical death metal.

Other tracks like ‘No Rest No Peace’ shed technicality for groove and rhythm, so tracks like these are a little more repetitive are straightforward in the brutal death metal department, but the group tries a few more tricks up their sleeve such as layering vocals to get away from that one sided hardcore growl. While the lack of interludes on the album leave no room for ambiance and take away from the more Lovecraftian/mystical elements that the album presents, there are some soft build ups such as on ‘Land Of Million Crosses’. Here the band brings back their technical elements and even adds some melody with the guitars versus the standard chug fest that dominates a lot of the albums, but these moments are short lived as the group does their best to maintain their heavier edge.

Overall the result is a lengthy album- the longest Katalepsy has done to date- about 50 minutes, but they just keep getting better and better. While some brutal death groups tend to fall into the trap of making each track sound too similar, Katalepy do their best to try and vary each track in some manner, be it certain riffs they use, where they insert their technical prowess be in the bass, guitar or drums, or vocal variations while retaining their core brutal death metal sound. Definitely a recommendation for those who like technical death metal crushing but not sounding like a knock off of Nile or Archspire.

4.5 / 5 STARS 


1. Closer Than Flesh
2. Night Of Eden
3. Those Who Rot The Souls
4. The God Of Grave
5. Terra Mortuus Est
6. Kings Of The Underground
7. Deep Down Madness
8. No Rest No Peace
9. From The Dark Past (They Come)
10. Neonomicon III
11. Land Of Million Crosses