Review Summary: Catharsis go loud and angryPassion
seems more or less the correct title for the album. Through its runtime of 36 minutes, the album picks up a pace that goes up and down, letting loose of emotions only to smother them at later times. It is a journey of anger, angst, hatred later turned into defeat, acceptance; it is the representation of human passion.
The first half of the album is filled with hard-hitting riffs, shrieked vocals and the occasional spoken word; a perfect way to capture the inconstant, ever-changing anger. However, it is more about the sum of the parts than the parts themselves; using the instrumentals as a medium, vocalist Brian D antagonizes the world and finds a way to enthrone himself above others. He screams on Panoptikon, “And are you blessed in these days of lifelessness? I'm choking on the rim of your righteousness“. The Panoptikon is a philosophical concept revolved around the observer and the observed, and Catharsis are concerned with destroying the Panoptikon, the unseen observer forcing and limiting people to mere pawns. Catharsis wants destruction, chaos, fire but most of all, they want freedom.
However, as the album approaches its end, the music is noticeably slower, representing the questioning and wait involved with human emotions and thoughts. What has changed between then and now? Where has the fierce, anger-fuelled emotion gone? Catharsis is unsure, so they quickly resort back to it, with Duende representing one of the heaviest moments on the album. But they stop; it is hopeless and all illusions of freedom and choice are but childlike fantasy. Desert without Mirages finds the album dabbling into reggae music, a genre largely associated with the culture of carelessness. Is the change enough or is more needed? Sabbat (French word for Sabbath) opens up with a choir and ends with a choir; loose religious overtones on the song suggest another possible route for Catharsis, a route where acceptance and defeat is seen as a sign of goodwill. The world will burn and there’s no stopping it.
The vague album art reveals the ambiguity behind Passion
; with moments of the album fitting in various genres, emotions and contexts, it cannot simply be pinned down to a label or two. Catharsis have all but limited themselves to a point in time; this album is a journey through the reality of a world that finds satisfaction in chains, links and constraints.