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The Hallowed Catharsis - The Uncanny Valley

The Hallowed Catharsis
The Uncanny Valley
by Tom Colyer at 27 August 2014, 2:07 PM

I don't know why but Canada is usually one of the last places I associate with brutal Technical Death Metal.  It's not that they lack the musical prowess and experience but they're just so damn nice that it's difficult to see the underlying currents of ferocity within them.  I think this is really the point, the public image of eternal kindness and friendliness is just a front for the true face of a nation of bloodthirsty axe wielding barbarians that lust for the red mist.

Or not, whatever.

Either way, Vancouver residents THE HALLOWED CATHARSIS are relatively new to the Metal scene and they have been spreading their name along the pacific coast since 2013.  Although they suffer from all the issues of a new band, they are extremely tight and have a sound that fits in perfectly with the current direction of Metal.  Death Metal can get a little draining and Technical Metal can just be downright boring but these guys manage to straddle the line between the two incredibly well.  Their debut E.P “The Uncanny Valley” brilliantly showcases their talents and highlights the things that more bands should be focusing on.  Just their public face is one that wins my appreciation; a recent quote from their facebook page reads “Bubbles and tentacles! Thanks to everyone there for such a fun night!”.  These are the kind of things that make a band feel accessible and human.  Besides, who doesn't love bubbles and tentacles?

Their musical presence is built through several layers of talent, making for an incredibly enjoyable listen.  Guitarists Kyle Bains and Vincent Yu are exceptionally talented and manage to write music that borders on comparisons with artists like MESHUGGAH and ANIMALS AS LEADERS with its technical prowess and off beat, dissonant sound.  Fortunately, this is not the focal point of the sound and everyone gets a little chance to shine.  The vocals are suitably barbarous and leave your ears feeling slightly stripped of a layer of humanity that you probably wont be getting back any time soon.  For the purest of Metal snobs however, this is not an album I would recommend as it is abundantly clear that these guys are just starting out and there are many issues with the overall quality of the sound.  The production is seriously lacking in, well just being there.  The different instruments are incredibly unbalanced in their sound levels and the vocals seem to have been thrown on top without any thought to an EQ or any kind of balancing.  There are moments when the lack of attention to the vocals highlights some of the teething problems Metal vocalists can face like a throat that sounds on the verge of giving out or the odd scream that just doesn't quite hit the sweet spot and gurgles a little like an old man drowning in his soup.

If you can bring yourself to look past rookie mistakes like these, this is a very well made album and THE HALLOWED CATHARSIS are a band that will hopefully stand strong and learn from these initial issues to become as big as they deserve.  I would even go as far as to say that they have what it takes to drag themselves to the sonic level of ORIGIN or DYING FETUS.

3 Star Rating

1. Extraterrestrial Radiation
2. Gravitas
3. Ravaged Oasis
4. Sensory Overload
5. The Uncanny Valley
6. Monster
Sean Ip - Vocals
Kyle Bains - Guitar
Chris Turner - Guitar
Nick Savoie - Bass
Kevin Emms - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 02 February 2023

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