It seems that Death Metal needs an enema. The genre is so excruciatingly crowded that even bands that are talented are lost in the miasma of similar-sounding acts, some of which may have released their debut full-length over a decade ago, some of which are brand new. The Finnish KATAPLEXIA are such a band. Their fast-paced pummeling and well-orchestrated soloing indicates the members are all talented individuals, but their compositional skills leave much to be desired.
As an experiment, I actually started playing random tracks at random points, just to see if I could detect a difference in the aural machinations of the songs. At times, the switching of the track resulted in no discernable disruption in the musicís momentum at all, as if I hadnít even interrupted the albumís progress. The one-note, guttural vocals of Rodrigo ``Fatality`` Artiga, with all the range of a 16th century musket, do not help matters. Rather than vocals, Artigaís contribution mostly amounts to adding another layer or dissonant sound to KATAPLEXIAís music. Itís there, but it has no impact on the listener. Session drummer Timo Hškkinen seems intent on constantly hitting the snare drum for at least thirty of the albumís thirty-three and a half minutes, making his playing perhaps the backbone of the albumís monotony.
The first real indication of variety on "Supreme Authority" occurs on the fifth track, ďInexplicable Extinction,Ē where a rather venomous and effective breakdown is employed towards the middle, splitting the song in two. There are one or two other forays into sonic diversity, such as the staccato stop-start opening of the title track, but the rest of the song continues the albumís oft-repeated formulas. Even the interlude, a device which sometimes functions as the only place for a Metal band to experiment, is nothing more than static noises played over the faint sound of galloping hooves. It simply amounts to a boring auditory experience, which is pretty much the antithesis of what Death Metal should be.
(Online August 28, 2008)