D//E Album Premiere: Nightosphere: Katabasis

Katabasis, the new album by Kansas City's Nightosphere, was recorded at various points throughout last year at band member Brittany Sawtelle's house, with the bulk of the recording completed in the Fall and Winter. After a couple of early single releases and an excellent three-way split with Abandoncy and Flooding, Nightosphere developed their heavy slowcore sound into a fully realized, extremely imposing full length.

Katabasis is composed of seven excellent songs which are loaded with melancholy, heaviness, and a charging atmosphere formed by smooth, emotional vocals and a stark instrumental base made up of guitars, bass, and drums.

With the towering Dead Man's Curve as its opening track, the album makes a statement, and a notable entrance, and the previous singles, Foxfire and Faim Dévorante, follow as the record's unmistakable standout tracks. As tracks like the very melodic Hubris and the brand-new standout Two Heads keep revealing the grit and the somberness in the group's alluring songwriting, Nightosphere's influence from artful noise rock, post hardcore, and post rock is cleverly laid out in the rest of the rather dense full length. In particular, Two Heads is a new highlight for the trio, and it demonstrates the band's superb whim, recalling the heavier moments in the 4AD catalog in an entirely unrestricted and unprocessed way.

Often pretty dynamic, and at times brimming with fragility and subtlety, Katabasis manages to enchant with both its rawness and the tension of the band's slowcore beauty. The songs on Nightosphere's debut album seem to be very well thought out and direct at the same time, while the band's performances possess qualities of consistency and straightforwardness. Swidden, the album's final track, is a gritty expression of that lovely immediacy.

Nightosphere are Brittany Sawtelle and Claire Hannah Festa (both on guitar, bass and vocals) and Dekota (Hop) Trogdon (drums). Additional guitar on Hubris is by Deano Erickson

Katabasis was recorded and mixed by Morgan Reed Greenwood and mastered by Greg Obis at Chicago Mastering Service. The album's artwork is by Kasper Durkin, and the layout and design by Alexis Politz.

Band photo by Lindsey Yoneda

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