Cathexis – Untethered Abyss (Willowtip)Thursday, 24th June 2021
Hailing from Texas, Cathexis is a new death metal act that digs those off-kilter riffs and craziness that we have come to expect from bands like Gorguts and their ilk. You know, the dissonant yet super heavy kind that can mangle the brain while somehow pleasing it. While it’s not exactly new at this point, Cathexis have a very effective angle that makes their debut, Untethered Abyss, worth checking out.
The angle? Unlike many bands that play the skronky, dissonant death metal of the day, Cathexis know how to dig down deep and get right to the point. They don’t just toss in extra atmospheric fluff to pad the runtime, they go right into the good stuff, and when they are out, the song ends. It’s not revolutionary, but it certainly is refreshing after hearing a ton of 6-10 minute epics that ease off the gas and lay down the brooding atmosphere with all their might. There’s only one song above 5-minutes, and most range around the 3-minute range. Just enough time to get your fill and move along. Tracks like “Given to the Colony” provide that intense, suffocating riffing with lumbering grooves (“Harrrowing Manifestation”) and keep it consistently heavy. The songs never linger for too long in one spot, switching up between blasts, dissonant melodies, chunky grooves, and some fiendishly technical riffing. The plus is that they can keep it heavy, and thus appeal to fans outside of the dissonant crowd because they can put some real fury in the songs without compromise (see “Red Hook”).
Those in need of some more dissonant death metal should give Cathexis a shot. They have all of the basics down for a new act and seem eager to keep things moving at a good clip without diluting down the brutal nature of the music. Hard to ask for much more with something so heavy.