What do you get when you cross the bass player of abrasive sludge band Mastiff, and the aural abuser of harsh noise project, The Dead Yesterdays? You get Catafalque and their self titled debut of course! A foul amalgam of each member’s aforementioned styles, and then some.
With Catafalque, both members seem to have their hands on a terrifying musical lever, with one end marked “noisescape”, and the other, “industrial press”. With each track, the band seem to send this lever down one way or another, setting their malignant machine into motion. ‘Unclean Break’ sees them slamming this lever to the latter setting, with a Godflesh-esque drum loop powering over a constant roar of distortion. The remainder of this release sees Catafalque focusing on the former setting of twisting noisescapes, with ‘Trepanning’ being perhaps the most terrifying example of these. While these are sufficiently teeth grinding (or relaxing, that’s on you), a greater variety would’ve given these tracks even more weight.
The release is at it’s most exciting when the lever seems to get pulled both ways at once. The aptly named ‘Fractured Sternum’ greatly exhibits this side of the group’s musicality, with the borderline meditative pulse of an industrial track forcing it’s way through the overbearing auditory flood of a noise piece. ‘Gnarled Limbs’ also dips it’s toes into this grey area, however with far more industrial sensibilities. An unpleasant release to say the least, but for all the right reasons. An easy recommendation for drone, noise or industrial fans. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Catafalque is available July 26th through Trepanation Recordings. Purchase here.
Words: Sean Elias