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Jacc > Cathartic Sorrow > Reviews > NausikaDalazBlindaz
Jacc - Cathartic Sorrow

Swaggie is not all right, Jacc, in album of grim complex songs - 82%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, November 20th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2022, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Looking downcast and depressed rather than jolly on the front cover of "Cathartic Sorrow", the third album from raw metal act Jacc, the swaggie in his bush isolation sure isn't inviting you to listen to the music here at all. "Cathartic Sorrow" initially seems angrier and more furious than sorrowful but repeated spins will reveal the anguish and fear in the singing. Opening track "Sempiter Masthur" explodes in a burst of raw vocal rage, rapid-fire drumming and frizzly noise guitar cloud that quickly settle down into a steady groove of repeating riffs and beats, while retaining a bristling edge and that hoarse howling voice. The atmosphere has a corrosive feel that any minute might become painful and even bleed, and the mood is definitely very depressive. Things perk up a bit with the second track "encapsula neurotte" which has a more defined if angular and ominous riff structure and a higher energy level. While the snarling and roaring still go on, "encapsula …" stamps a much darker atmosphere with dissonant fuzzy guitar melodies, a swanky rhythm and a sense of everything coming close to falling off a cliff into a bottomless abyss. In the second part of the track a dejected riff bleeds out of the constant roiling noise chaos and for a moment we glimpse the ongoing agony behind the vocals and the distant shouting beneath the noise and background frazzle.

Though the music starts out as blackened noise, it has some melodic death / doom metal elements in the vocals, atmospheres and song structures, and there are melodic post-metal elements in the clean lead guitar solos that appear in tracks like "irresp unundt aereth" and "acertinate eradicaat". The Jacc project isn't above inserting samples of found sound and dark ambience into songs to inject something much bleaker and more hopeless into the music. As we go further into the album, we go much, much deeper into realms where directions become meaningless, and we become trapped and threatened with madness by our own inaction – because we do not know where to go. All around us in the dark the voices of the mad circle amid pounding percussion and relentless noisy riffs and their lead guitar embellishments. Generally, all the instruments and the vocals proceed together very closely with few deviations from the main riffs; with dissonant guitar chords and key changes, this type of song-writing produces a sinister and intense sound experience with "obitus personificatem" being its outstanding example. Songs can yield unexpected surprise changes in riffing, rhythm and ambience very late, often within the last 60 seconds before they end, making for an even more complex and demanding listening experience. The album goes out in a near-formless storm of guitar cloud noise in "kotorous ruinus anhedonis".

It might start off in a confused way that is sure to put off most people but if you persist with this album, you will find good if very ominous, confrontational and intense music and atmospheres across the six songs. "Encapsula neurotte" features the most defined melodies, all leading down a blacker detour to the bottomless pit while "irresp unundt aereth" reveals short windows into utter demonic insanity and surrounds them with layers of both melodic and more noise-oriented cacophony. "Obitus personificatem" may hold the most (and the most out-there) surprises in music that defies categorisation other than that it has features from across black metal, dark ambience, post-metal and black'n'roll, yet like the other tracks it holds everything well in a confounding dark soundscape.

If you hear this album often enough, it really does grow on you. It might not make many people's lists of top albums for 2022 but it has potential to be a cult sleeper with songs that keep and reveal their deep secrets almost right up until they end.