Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Catapult the Dead - All is Sorrow (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 20/04/2014
Label: Self Release

All is Sorrow” DD/Vinyl/Cassette track list:

1). All is Sorrow (37:03)

The Band:

Ben Hiteman | Vocals
Emad Dajani | Guitars
Thomas Lilliston | Guitars
Garrick O'Connor | Piano/Guitars
Dan Brownson | Bass
Ryan Thompson | Drums


One thirty-seven minute piece of music gracefully spans this release from Catapult the Dead. Mastered by his eminence James Plotkin of Khanate fame, a fantastic and deeply moving piece awaits you. I completely agree with the band who themselves state that this should be listened to as a complete work and there are very few single pieces of music this long that can completely command your attention like “All Is Sorrow”.

Beginning with an open and very slow organ progression with slow burning background oscillations, when the guitars eventually kick in the minimal rhythmic fury present a darkened atmosphere. The fury clipped vocals perfectly complement the dirge like guitars. After a verse, the electrics fall out and some pretty nice minimalist keys break in, the guitars come back and this rhythm playing is my favorite on the album, with some serious menacing chug under tremolo keys. A little deeper down the wormhole now, the vocalist Ben Hiteman, changes styles into some black metal-esque screams/yells which is pretty badass. At about the seven minute mark, there’s a really unusual break that almost sounds like an outtake from Tomahawk, into another nice piano arpeggio solo.

One of the main things that strikes me about “All Is Sorrow” is how expertly the piece shift through it's sections, it covers vast amounts of stylistic and sonic territory, but everything is smooth as glass and just fits. The “middle bridge” section around the seventeen to nineteen minute mark is a perfect example of this, the melodies get rhythmically deconstructed but still perfectly segue into each other. Around the twenty-two minute mark we get the first section that might sound like someone else, it echoes Twilight's last album and the singer sounds a bit like Stavros from The Atlas Moth here. I would say these couple of minutes from about the 21 minute mark up til the end are my favorite parts of the album, just a deep groove and nice melodies with a huge gradual build-up throughout. It really does get better as it goes deeper and deeper, what a fucking great album!! These guys better tour.

At around the 32:40, there is some absolutely fantastic drumming with some pulsating tom patterns, signalling we are approaching the end. The slow build over these drums is hugely intense and the layering here is pretty epic. A fitting close to such an epic record.

In closing I would like to quote Morpheus from The Matrix, “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”  If you substitute Catapult the Dead for the Matrix in this quote, it quite accurately summarizes the album. Reading this review is one thing but a work this compelling must be heard for yourself as there really isn't anything quite like it. Completely worth just buying, check it out below.

Words by: Chris Tedor

You can pick up a copy here and in Europe here

12" vinyl version of "All Is Sorrow” includes cover Artwork by Coven Illustrations and an illustrated and numbered lyric booklet illustrated by Nick Sandy. 160g vinyl pressed on 100% virgin vinyl 250 Black and 250 "Splatter Hash" colored vinyl.

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