Two decades ago, before the music industry had fully colonized it, the do-it-yourself underground was a space of exodus and experimentation, often in violent opposition to the rest of the world. This was the context in which Catharsis appeared, one of a new wave of bands to meld metal drama with the raw urgency of hardcore punk. They quickly distinguished themselves by an almost self-destructive intensity and uncompromising anticapitalist ethic. Inverting Christian iconography to champion the struggle of the individual against a hostile cosmos, they took up the centuries-old banner No Gods, No Masters, extending this project of total defiance into their increasingly tumultuous lives. This apocalyptic orientation in turn informed their music, as they sought to hit upon the magic combination of words, harmonies, and rhythms that could spark a global conflagration.
Catharsis broke up in 2002, following relentless touring on three continents and a final catastrophic five months in Europe. After a decade of watching the old records sell for absurd prices while bootleggers profited off substandard editions, we’ve finally taken it upon ourselves to offer a proper collection of their work.
This discography, “Light from a Dead Star,” includes their debut 7”, the “Samsara” and “Passion” LPs, and the split LPs with Gehenna and Newborn. It also includes the final Catharsis song, “Absolution,” recorded alongside “Arsonist’s Prayer” in their last session but never released. That totals two hours of music on four LPs, packaged in a box with oversize booklets offering all the original artwork.
These will be back from the pressing plant in mid-January, just in time for a handful of Catharsis reunion shows. In the meantime, the discography can be pre-ordered from CrimethInc. Far East (North America) and Refuse Records (Europe).
All records are now sold out.
Pre-orders from CrimethInc. will come on limited-edition colored vinyl; they will include digital versions of all these songs and others, plus video footage, fliers, and other archival material. We’ll throw in some additional treats as well. These are unavoidably expensive, but the digital download of the discography will be available in January at a price anyone can afford.
[UPDATE: The colored vinyl, limited to 100 copies, has sold-out. All pre-orders from here on will include black vinyl, limited also, to 400 copies.]
In addition, Catharsis is briefly reuniting to play four shows this January: January 17 in Raleigh, NC; January 18 in Baltimore, MD; January 19 in New York City; and January 20 in Washington, DC, at a benefit show for political prisoners as part of a counter-inaugural festival of resistance.