Catholic Dictatorship


The relics of both pro and anti Soviet Union sentiments still arise every now and […]
By Vladimir "Abir" Leonov
November 3, 2015
Norylsk - Catholic Dictatorship album cover

The relics of both pro and anti Soviet Union sentiments still arise every now and then, perhaps nowadays more than ever given the present circumstances that are bound to leave a print on music within the Soviet cultural sphere. On that wave length, although Polish, NORYLSK illustrates the point right from their name, which is in fact derived from a Russian town symbol of the Gulag era as well as pollution, embodying the politically, economically as well as socially engaged composante of metal, for the latter being a voice for the valid issues marginalized by the mainstream commercial music.

Moving to the chief motive, "Catholic Dictatorship" is the sophomore full-length album of NORYLSK following "Political Pollution", coming across in brisk, fast-paced mainly vocal tracks heavily relying on drums and - to a much less extent - on the guitar/bass individualized cluster about ninety percent of the time, except bass solos that even playing the basic line, do deliver a decentralized bullet-like sound that paradoxically reverberates within one's periphery instead of one's core, thus largely contributive to the genuinely firm metallurgic Grindcore structure. However, in comparison to that of CARCASS, NAPALM DEATH or even less known average bands, the guitar section royally falls short: consisting of forgettable heavy chords, tremolo, palm-mutes, hammer on/pull offs in "The Whore Across The Ocean" or a few break downs scattered along, it just cedes the place to the drums to take over with blasting double bass drum kicks like great balls of fire for most of the album but particularly accentuated in tracks like "The Creator". Unfortunately, perhaps that's the best they can offer.

One specific highlight on "Catholic Dictatorship" tracklist is undoubtedly "Mental Selection" less condensed at some points and breaking free from the prevailing somehow dry pattern with appealing breaks as well as a soul-piercing bass guitar and double bass drum beats, standing out from the rest by a large amount. Still on top of all, another obviously distinctive feature on "Catholic Dictatorship" is the vocal performance. Ranging from high to low pitched growls, it sounds at times insanely deep, nay otherworldly. All the same, some unfathomable verbiage pops up at a few occasions namely when almost concisely shoving the overtly organized prefixed verses of a poem to the point of sheer ennui, along with the abuse of the high pitched growls -despite their initial ardency - which could have been better reserved for forth bars like in "Potential And Flesh", needless to mention the beyond the pale quasi copy-paste discontinuity in the vocal line in "Opec Paradox On". On a whole, when all seems consumed already, the vocalist transmits such an original vigor that manages to stick in your head when everything else isn't up to snuff.

Succinctly, "Catholic Dictatorship" is a vocal album in the main, considerably monitored by the drum machine gun which ditches its traditional backup role to a bloc of guitars demonstrating minimal skills from their part. As a result, remove the vocal track and you'll find a repetitive skeletal structure, gambling for the most part on the heaviness of the beat as well as the significant overall lyrical message, old but put in new ways. Alternatively expressed, NORYLSK are likely to give you the urge to watch them live, for they're well aware of what the majority craves: the simplest riffs that can do no harm to your ears or nervous system in general.

6 / 10

Had Potential

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"Catholic Dictatorship" Track-listing:
  1. F.K.K
  2. Product Of Lobotomy
  3. Potential And Flesh
  4. Mental Alienation
  5. Sexual Apartheid
  6. Mental Selection
  7. Children Of The Political System
  8. Political Monologue
  9. Opec Paradox On
  10. The Run
  11. The Pilgrimage To The Holy Places
  12. The Face Of Death
  13. The Whore Across The Ocean
  14. The Creator
Norylsk Lineup:

TV - Vocals
Kwiat - Guitars
Budyń - Bass
Lukass - Drums

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