CATARRHAL are a relatively new group who even before "Putressence", their first LP, had already started making waves in their homeland of Belgium In November 2004, CATARRHAL played at the final of Concours-Circuit, one of the biggest band contests in Belgium, then in 2005 they reached the third place at the Belgian Metal Underground Contest, all in all quite a good CV.
After listening to "Putressence" once it is immediately apparent why they have been received so well, they have a distinct sound that embodies both the aggressive elements of Brutal Death and the more technical elements of Melodic Death and combines them into something which is almost unique, something that maintains the raw brutality so inherent within the old school of Death Metal yet also has a distinctly fresh feel.
The production is good allowing every instrument to be heard thus rather than creating a wall of sound it creates more of a tapestry, albeit quite a brutal one. Vocals could be described as being somewhere between MORBID ANGEL and AMON AMARTH and are definitely some of the better vocals I have heard on a Death Metal album, simply put, I believe that they embody everything that Brutal Death metal vocals should.
There are a number of standout tracks present on this album beginning with the brutal opener “Gangrene”, this track gives us a taste of what to expect for the rest of the album showing a subtle blending of brutality and melody that is initially quite unexpected. Another favorite would be “Phobic Parallelism” which is a true showcase of the way in which Melody and brutality are entwined in this album.
Overall a piece that while it is not really revolutionary has enough new sounds to keep you interested so, if you are into Death Metal and want to hear something new by all means check this album out, it shouldn’t disappoint.
(Online October 1, 2007)