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The Hallowed Catharsis - Killowner

The Hallowed Catharsis
by Neil Cook at 11 June 2020, 8:35 AM

Jazz is something I don’t really understand.  Like Metal, there are many stands of Jazz, which interweave to make the entire tapestry of the genre.  Jazz has, Trad, Acid, Scat, Modern and many others, as does Metal, with the likes of Thrash, Power, Prog, Death, heck even Viking and Pirate. The interwoven nature of the different strands are what make up the overall soundscape of the music we listen to.  Sometimes when the threads become entwined, the results are amazing, vibrant and new. And sometimes not.

Unfortunately, for me, in the case of “Killowner” the 4th EP from THE HALLOWED CATHARSIS, it’s a NOT. The opening few bars of the first track “Abduction Sequence” lulled me into a false sense of security with is groove, the staccato Jazzy, almost bluesy picking made me listen.  What happened after that, was the aural equivalent of being struck over the head repeatedly and being pummeled and left for dead, no doubt the intention of this 5-piece from Vancouver.

And like being attacked, mercifully it was over quickly, leaving me bloodied, and on the floor, but mercifully unscathed. After that initial passage, the individual tracks melded into one. After my initial listening of the EP I read a description of there music as “Progressive Death”, an oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one.  It was a wall of noise, all fuzz and divergent time signatures, plaid out with a conventional Death grunt vocal on the top.

The lack of difference in the 6 songs on offer made them feel like passages on one longer piece, and yes this is an approach made by many a Prog band through the ages. But the thing for me, the whole counterpoint and time changes, the divergent sounds, reminded me of the worse excesses of Acid Jazz.  I too find that musical sub-genre impenetrable too. So too that end I think a more fitting name for their style is “Acid Death”.

An acquired taste, which is not for my pallet.  So I apologies to the band and their fans, of which there must be plenty, otherwise how would a band survive from 2013, but this isn’t for me.

Songwriting: 3
Originality: 3
Memorability: 2
Production: 3

1 Star Rating

1. Abduction Sequence
2. Forced Mutation
3. Breeding Pits
4. Swap Meat
5. Strays
6. Killowner
Sean Ip - Vocals
Claire Saeter - Guitar
Kyle Bains - Guitar
Michael Holme - Bass, Backing Vocals
Kevin Emms - Drums
Record Label: Lacerated Enemy Records


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