Let’s get some numbers here. How many of us can honestly say that we’ve been hit by a speeding, smoking, growling Mack truck straight outta Hell and loaded with explosives (figuratively OR literally) not just once, but twice, and lived to tell the tale? Furthermore, if the slim chance should occur that someone on Earth has managed to find themselves in such a predicament and brushed it off like it ain’t no thang…how many of those people could actually say they enjoyed the experience on whatever demented level? Well, my friends, I can now honestly say that I am one of those proud, sadomasochistic few. I have successfully stared total annihilation square in the face and laughed, still smiling blissfully as it relentlessly pummeled me into the ground, set my pulse ablaze and dismembered my psyche. In this case, the “truck” I’m speaking of is Indianapolis, Indiana’s crust-caked masters of blackened sludge lunacy, Kata Sarka.
With their previous three-song demo, Riding A Wind Of Knives, the band took our wrists in a death-grip and led us headlong into the churning shitstorm. The cold austerity of black metal and all-out chaos of grinding crust swirled together as one goddamn bastard of a vicious cyclone, bearing its crimson-stained teeth to drag us all into a world full of misanthropic, nightmarish vision. Within those three songs, Kata Sarka declared war on the mainstream by displaying their uncanny ability to turn a song into an emotional, blood-letting ritual experience.
The band’s new three-song demo, The Great Dereliction, is no different in it’s unforgiving ferocity. In comparison to the previous demo, the new effort was masterfully recorded and mixed by Carl Byers of Clandestine Arts Recording (as well as Coffinworm) and possesses a somewhat evolved style in the way of vocal approach with two voices seemingly more prevalent then before. There is also a largely noticeable increase in the black metal aspects of the instrumentation, all around and it works out marvelously! Y.S.’s shriek-and-howl vocals make it apparent that an exorcism may be what the doctor ordered (but we wouldn’t want that now, would we?) and A.V.9’s guitar attack is a dizzying concoction sure to make your head spin clean off your shoulders. Opening track, “Wearing the Rings of Saturn as a Halo” (definite highlight) erupts as the sonic equivalent of the gates of Hell itself being blasted wide open with a well-aimed atom bomb. Blood-gurgling rasp in the vocal department and buzzsaw riffs give this number a largely black metal cloak amidst the otherwise crusty D-beat (and a bit of doom, maybe?) qualities in abundance. “Atrophy” picks up the torch without missing a single step, galloping into the kind of full-force onslaught those familiar with Kata Sarka will embrace with open arms and gaping jaws.
The end result is three lightning-speed rituals of bloody knuckle death that once again leave the listener craving another blackened beatdown. These guys are lunatics, plain and simple…and they’ve honed their sound to an edge that’ll cut you down like butter. If you sleep on this one, consider yourself a fool of the highest order!