2016’s Gravenous Hour was a superior release, and now Terra Mortuus Est continues the band’s developmental pathway that they are on. Katalepsy play the sort of modern death metal that grabs you by the throat and squeezes hard right before the beating starts. These guys don’t mess around.
Combining brutal grooves with flesh-tearing riffs and pulverising blasts is what Katalepsy do best, and Terra Mortuus Est is full of this. However, with a duration of 52 minutes, this record would probably not hold the listener’s attention fully for that long if that was only thing it had to offer. So in addition to the band’s core brutal slamming death metal, they spice things up with additional melodies, atmosphere, technicality, and hardcore/deathcore influences. Katalepsy have thrown a lot into this album.
The band’s melodic/atmospheric qualities are lesser-seen, for sure, but they’re there, and enhance the heaviness of the songs quite nicely, (closing track Land of Million Crosses is especially notable in this regard). The technical parts appear here and there, warring with the band’s groove metal simplicity to forge a hybrid heaviness that works well. There does seem to be more deathcore elements on this release, merged with the brutal slams like a natural evolution of Katalepsy’s sound. This influence has also made its way into the singer’s voice, which has taken on some of the dynamics and feel of deathcore, while still maintaining a Behemoth-esque intensity.
Terra Mortuus Est draws from a more diverse range of influences than you might expect, all tied up in a professionally-delivered modern death metal framework that’s hits the spot very well. It’s not perfect, but it is an enjoyable way to get a quality fix of brutal modern heaviness.