Mog Ruith Catatonic Stellar Illusions

Propelled by the ravenous ferocity of black metal but inspired by the thick brutality of death and thrash, Catatonic Stellar Illusions is an impressive affair from Ottawa’s Mog Ruith. Many bands struggle to find stable ground in the black/death hybrid, coming up with little more than carbon copies of the pointless (and generally sub-par) Norwegian scene. Yet this band have clearly channelled the spirit and vitality of that crowd’s initiators and upped the ante via chunky low-end guitar work reminiscent of early Kreator and, well, any Sodom. These riffs clash with drumbeats that alternate between straightforward time-keeping and blurred double kick, so when one tosses in some savage John Tardy-esque throat-tearing vocals and drenches it all in sopping wet reverb, it truly is an all-out assault. One can see how this amalgamation of virtually every dark metal sub genre could be messy but thanks to a keen ear for the tasteful though, Mog Ruith know just when to pull back, resulting in seven enticingly eerie songs that feel almost dangerous. (Krankenhaus)