Texas’ High Fells released their new album, “Catharsis,” on November 25th. The album was highly anticipated by fans of the American Black Metal genre. “Catharsis” does not disappoint, as it is a beautifully-crafted piece of art that is both brutal and captivating.
The album opens with the track “Lingering” which sets the tone for the rest of the album. The song is fast-paced and full of blast beats, with the occasional melodic riff thrown in. The lyrics are dark and depressing, as they deal with the subject matter of dealing with mental illness.
Overall, “Catharsis” is a great album that is sure to please fans of black metal. The band has managed to create a captivating and dark sound that contributes an amazing layer to the American Black Metal scene.
Themes and musicality: High Fells’ “Catharsis” is a concept album of sorts about mental illness and depressive episodes. The album is full of punishing riffs and blast beats that perfectly capture the despair and anguish that comes with psychological issues. There are moments of respite between the intense songs, as melodic and progressive passages are scattered throughout. The melodic interludes add to the somber feel of the album and further explore the themes of remorse and suffering. The lyrics throughout the album can be quite intense and are extremely honest.
They are often autobiographical and describe the feeling of being isolated, wallowing in self-loathing, and trying to find any sense of solace. Lead singer, Nick Smith, gives a passionate vocal performance that captures the despondent feelings of the lyrics. The instrumentation on the album is stunning. The mix is intense, loud, and heavy, with lots of intricate parts scattered throughout. The guitar playing is top-notch and includes moments of both brutality and beauty. The bass provides a deep and driving backdrop for the songs and the drums are loud and punishing. Each musician compliments the other perfectly further driving their unique sound.
Without a doubt, High Fells have produced an album which has put them front and center in the American Black Metal Scene.
Overal Score: 10/10
Review by: George Bauman IV