Untethered Abyss

Austin Texas’s Cathexis return with their second full length effort Untethered Abyss.  I have been spinning this album for the last few months and my first impressions of them were a black death band with influences like Immolation and Ulcerate.  They are a bit more varied in terms of groove and riff variety.  The Title track “Horizontless Realm of Mechanical Retribution” is an excellent example of that.  Another I hear as a strong influence is Gorguts. “Given to the Colony” is an excellent example of this and it shown in their dissonant riff approach.    The way that they can build into this bleak, jagged augmented chord structures into ear piercing arpeggiated picking creates an aura of chaos.

The flow of the album is fantastic.  Most of the tracks kick in at around the same length.  “Harrowing Manifestation” is my favorite track on the record.  I am a sucker for octave harmonies.  The drum work of Felix Garza is outstanding here.  The guitarwork of Chris Hilliam and Sam Kang sound like Erik Rutan and Trey Azagthoth a bit on this one.  Total compliment.  Tight harmonics.   Earlier I mentioned Gorguts.  I just read in the liner notes that this is mastered by Colin Marston which examples a lot. This album sounds like it took six years to write and from the sounds of it it took a while to get this specific lineup together.    It Sounds like they have been jamming together for much longer than six years.


“Library of Babel” is probably the most epic song the album.  It is also the longest track.  Bassist Oscar Martinez makes his presence felt on this one.  I really like what vocalist Ian Bishop did with his patterns over these insanely meticulous arrangements.  “Mortuus in Perpetuum” is one of the more aggressive tracks on the album and has some tasty blast seconds.  “Isolated Malevolence” continues to build on elements throughout the album and features some gorgeous grooves and dynamics that remind me a tad of Immolation.

Untethered Abyss concludes with “Reanimated Kin” which is as mean of a track as any.  Overall, this is a vicious beast of a release from the always consistent Willowtip Records.  The summer of 2021 is excellent for death metal so far.  Enjoy this.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
July 15th, 2021


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