If World Of Cliché, the first album of Latvian Catalepsia released in 2015, turned out to be quite convincing, net of a proposal that effectively reworked the lesson of the northern European gothic doom scene, with some bets in territories very close to the darkest Sentenced, it is with this second full length that the Baltic band makes a huge and in some ways unexpected leap in quality. Inheritance is a rather ambitious concept album both from a lyrical and a musical point of view: the theme of possession, and therefore of the torment resulting from the struggle and the constant dialogue between the protagonist and the demon (which could be equivalent to a fictional representation of the reality experienced by those suffering from mental disorders such as schizophrenia or, even more, bipolarism), offers the cue for the hardening of a sound that abandons almost entirely the gothic shores to push towards a form of doom mostly robust and rhythmic, but not without melodic ideas and progressions from the high evocative impact. A work like this, thanks to its almost eighty minutes of duration, can not be easy to decrypt and, in fact, to fully grasp all its nuances and the depth of the issues requires several listenings; it will be so natural to overcome the initial obstacle constituted by two songs not at all immediate like Transference and Incarnation (even if the first one contains in its final part a beautiful melodic development) to arrive to the greater initial catchiness of Oppression, one of the guide songs of the work, inside of which we can appreciate different changes of atmosphere and scenery, also at vocal level thanks to the versatility of an interpreter like Erwin Franz, vocalist as well as guitarist, keyboardist and founder of Catalepsia. If Possession strikes for its rhythmic strength, with Defeat we arrive at the most intimate and reflective moment of the album, thanks to a mostly delicate and acoustic approach that produces a strongly evocative result. Despite the fact that there are only three missing tracks, it remains to listen to more than half an hour of music representative of the most dramatic and intense part of the album’s economy, starting from Becoming, a track that contains one of the few prolonged cues of the lead guitar, passing through the ferocity of Compliance and finally closing with Being and the hypnotic repetition of a theme that slowly penetrates the skin and then sublimate in a magnificent crescendo. Beyond the natural progress highlighted at the purely instrumental level, the evolution of Catalepsia takes shape in a proposal that is varied while remaining well inserted within the doom, without ever providing definitive clues on belonging to a clear and unequivocal style, if anything are traceable references to bands not necessarily related to doom such as the German Dark Suns, authors about fifteen years ago of the underrated Existence: so gothic, melodic death doom but also a certain progressive nature intertwine and overlap giving life to a compelling album from the first to the last note, despite the risk taken by the band in proposing a work of such length. Inheritance is the ideal album for anyone who wants to listen to powerful music, deep and full of pathos; moreover, this second full length of the Latvian guys does not seem to represent a point of arrival but, if anything, the real beginning of a path that could give in the future even more satisfactions.

2020 – Cataleptic Undoings