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Unbleed's Retarded Brother - 46%

HammerOfDeath, September 16th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2000, CD, Icarus Music

Underground word would have you believe that Catharsis Instinct is an improvement over Unbleed. I'm not sure how anyone could ever get to that conclusion, because Catharsis Instinct is by far, the weakest release.

Carrying many traits from its successor, Catharsis Instinct brings along a less caustic and abrasive sound to the table, with clearer guitars coming out of the mix, but somehow everything else lost its power. Vocals are now buried and muffled and the bass sits far back, the drum sound is fine but would do good with a little bit more edge. Honestly, I don't tend to complain about production values, but this one just irks me in the wrong way.

Ultimately, the music itself has the final word, and that's where this album really starts to stink. I can very easily single out the songs I enjoy: "The Day the Deaf went Blind, "What are you Running From?" and "Cosmos Disease"... These are basically the only songs that have stand out riffs and memorable lines. All other songs are littered with repetitive riffs and lyrics, blend in together in the most unpleasant manner and feel aimless, product of a songwriting that just seems unsure on what to achieve. Whereas Unbleed was clearly intended to be highly melodic and palpitating with experimentation, this one appears to aim for a more soothing, relaxed atmosphere, but it fails by largely retaining the ideals of the first album, ending up in an awkward and underwhelming mess.

It's not all bad of course, there's the highlights as mentioned in the previous paragraph, there's still some good melodic riffs scattered (even if they end up sounding too similar) and the acoustic guitars are very well accomplished. Still, this is a very simple case where I can affirm that the former did it far better, even if this album had been released first, Unbleed would still be far better on all levels. And to end on a small note: This might just be the only Dawnbringer album I wouldn't recommend.