Music in low frequencies Catharsis

Music in Low Frequencies - Catharsis


In 2014, the Portuguese trio released their debut album Sowing the Seed writing in the liner notes that the album was from a band ”still in search of our musical identity.”. Nine years later, they yank you towards themselves with the musical vigor of a very mature band building heavy and engaging music around seven poems with their second full-length album.

Yes, seven poems. The lyrics are very important for this album and are available on Bandcamp. The swelling music underlines lyrics of desperation, hope, dismay, trauma, anger, fears, and revolt - existential themes that are the core of a lot of metal-related music. Dark lyrics have been an important part of Metal ever since Ozzy Osbourne opened Black Sabbath´s debut album with the words ”What is this that stands before me?”. As with Sabbath, the lyrics on Catharsis are extremely well immersed in the layers, the riffs and the energetic drumming with synths seeping Darkwave.

Another wow-factor on this album are the immensely throaty growls. Anyone who hears Mariana’s growling vocals will probably scutter back to the rehearsal room and try to do better. She delivers the lyrics with her heart on her sleeve and executes them impressively; like this the powerful, engaging sometimes anguished growls may become an immersed instrument throughout the album.

In the opening song ”Web Of Questions” you get the first of her vocals “I am tangled in this net / In this web of questions / Aiming to clarify this situation / Medication is no way to deal with it / Contemplation of the soul / Is the way to untie this knot”. And you get the idea where the lyrics will take you, supported by hard multi-layered riffs, heavy drumming sometimes with blasts and a soaring synth in the dense music. It is an utterly engaging song with the shifts between sung parts and the blasts of the instruments in between. The use of synths elevates the music that despite the heavy riffing and hard bass drumming flows along with a basic melodic theme until it sinks into an ambient part with synths and breathing like someone staggering forward. Slow-paced drums and elongated riffs swell pierced by the synth once more begin to elevate the music as the pace grows faster to make an engaging elongated end of the song as it sinks to an end.

There are six more songs on the album to leave you almost breathless with the energy, commitment and fierceness they evoke. ”Unborn Pride” opens with short bursts of cymbals before distorted guitars are driven fast forward by hard drums just to be more or less overpowered by the throaty vocals: ”These vultures from the past / Crawling inside your head”. A glimmering near-dissonant synth raises to follow the music. Throughout the song, the growls are angry with an underlying fierceness that the music underlines perfectly. There is a sense of the protagonist fighting through her catharsis.

The third song ”Steel” grabs you by the throat with dense, slightly muffled riffs and a steady rhythm underlined by some blast beats. The growls are desperate and prolonged as the song shifts and the synths take the melodic theme further down below. The music takes a breath and dives into the growls immersed in the heavy riffs and steady drum varying with blast beats. The music simmers down and the guitars begin to play both clean and distorted lines and ascends onwards as the vocals are boxed in and sing against themselves.

On ”The Right Way” dark, hard synths open the song with elongated riffs and slow-paced drumming, leaning a bit towards the blues. The vocals are now clean and evoke an atmosphere of loathing as she sings ”Icy cold eyes looking back at me / Sending all the despise / That you have in your mind.”. The music is dragging along as a synth pierces it and the fierce voice is back: ”Let me dive through this night / Let me remind you / All we use to have / Is not to be let into fade / Fade away!!!”. The heavy music underlines the context of this song about separation as the growls spill out over the instruments.

Clean vocals are also used in the next song, ”Unconsciousness” which opens with fuzzy guitars swirling around each other to evoke the atmosphere of the lyrics, ”Fuck the rage / The rage I feel/I feed the creep/Inside of this/Crippled heart/Fainting so low/Inhale the pump/Plugging your soul” The guitar circles further along as the strong clean vocals continue, showing a vocalist with a great range when it all fuses into fast heavy Sludge metal with intense growls and repetitive riffs over diverse drumming, sometimes with double take. A high-pitched synth spearheads through the music and lingers for a while as the music races forward.

”This Corpse” closes the album and it starts with fast chugging riffs that melt with drums, and synths as the growls blend with the music showing the same great effect as before. The music intensifies as the drums go into blast beats to underline the aggravated growls claim ”Today I woke up with hope / I left the pain to bleed alone / But as soon I step on the floor / Comes the flood / Flood of thoughts and rage / Why the fuck did you come? / I told you to stay away” The fast sludge music grows around the vocals with the synths immersed in the middle as to console the protagonist. The song slowly turns into what becomes an energetic crescendo fusing everything into the melodic theme that the music emanates. It simmers down just to swell back again. A dissonant synth is embedded in the wall of sound until the riffs and drums disappear with only that synth echoing in the distance, pulsating in a Darkwave mode and fading slowly into oblivion at the 8:34 mark.

These brave musicians end the last song and the album with two minutes of silence. That might be natural for the band as they opened their first album with 35 seconds of silence before a distant, deep pulsating bass sound emerged. Anyway, Catharsis, is really a tour-de-force and Music in Low Frequencies are very welcome back at the metal scene keeping sludgy Doom alive. Hope they tour Europe!