Post Mortal Possession
Catacombs of Bedlam

I always like to support the local scene, which is more important than ever until somehow the world decides to unfuck itself. For me, there is a “local” scene just a few minutes away, but I really mean Pittsburgh, which is obviously larger and within an hour. Supporting this local scene is why I attended the second Brewtal Beer Fest (RIP) in 2017. This is also where I allegedly saw Post Mortal Possession live… I say “allegedly” because it was a beer fest, they had unlimited tickets, so I not only drank my fair share, but my girlfriend at the time also gave me all of hers to polish off when she didn’t like the selected brew. Just be grateful my sloppy drunk ass made it home… or if you hate me, curse the heavens or whatever.

“What about the music,” you say? Well, their first full length, Perpetual Descent was fantastic. Its stellar artwork by Armada Art added to the package very well. For a first full length, I was quite impressed. So, for the follow up, Catacombs of Bedlam, I was quite excited, even though its release, like the gray hair in my beard, snuck up on me. Before really going into the album itself, this is listed as a “new album” so one would assume it’s a full-length LP. However, it’s 8 songs and 23 minutes. Their last was 11 songs and 37 minutes…

LP or EP, it doesn’t matter. The first track, “Demented,” is a spoken word intro. I’ll summarize my takeaways pretty succinctly; We’re all fucked. The first proper track, entitled “Gates of Lyssa,” starts out with some pretty deep bellows from vocalist Jake Munson Nelson. He also transitions into some gutturals and pig squeals. He quickly and impressively runs the gamut of deathcore vocal styles. This track is mostly heavy deathcore with outstanding production. The drum production as well as the performance itself from Nick Bentzel deserves special attention. It’s difficult not to walk away from the first track impressed with the performances, even if it doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table.

Maybe this is just the romantic in me, but track 4, entitled “Congenital Syphilitic Entombment,” has a succulent, sexy title. If you don’t think so, well maybe you just don’t believe in love. Breaking it down, that literally means “present from birth,” “infected with syphilis,” “placing of a dead body.” So, yeah? The track itself starts out with some deep gurgles. The drums take center stage here, but if you try hard enough, you can hear some guitar squeals.

Leading into the final track is a short one called “Monarch.” It’s a quote from “Shutter Island,” but spoken by a female. I tried to find info on who is doing the talking as it sounds like a famous actress, but I can’t quite place the voice. I want to say Miranda Otto, but if you ask any of my exes, I am frequently wrong. Regardless, it’s short, and that takes us into the closer, which is called “Catacombs of Bedlam.” It is also short. A quick, sub 3-minute blast of a track with, once again, an excellent vocal and drum performance.

“Is that it,” she exclaimed. I know what you’re trying to say. You’re trying to say; ‘Oh, yeah, that’s it (thanks, ‘Flight of the Conchords’).’” I told you it was short (not that, but also, shut up). As much as it pains me to say it, this is a step backwards for the band. Perpetual Descent was fantastic and gave me high hopes for their future. The problem with Catacombs of Bedlam is that it’s well-played, produced, and written deathcore which brings nothing new to the table. When I listen to the genre, my favorite bands are the ones who use deathcore as a base but branch out and further their sound. There isn’t any of that here. If you’re looking for a quick beatdown, though, this could do the trick.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
July 23rd, 2020

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