EPK – High Fells – Catharsis (2022)
Publicist – Jon Asher – jon[@]ashermediarelations[.]com
For fans of Hath, Decapitated, Sorrow Plagues, Harakiri for the Sky, Enshine
Band: High Fells
Album Title: Catharsis
Release Date: Nov 25, 2022
“There’s warmth and beauty to be found beyond the expected genre conventions if you know where to look.” – Eric Grubbs, CentralTrack magazine
“The song… “Where They Call My Name” proves that High Fells are worth taking very seriously indeed (even if the band clearly don’t take themselves too seriously)… The passion that floods through the searing screams and ravaging roars adds to the song’s wrenching severity.” – NOCLEANSINGING
“I have seen their name pop up a lot recently due to them being on a good number of local shows as well as being opening acts for national tours. These dudes play some killer blackened death that got the crowd into right from the first note… “Even for a newer band, these guys were tight and on point.” – VOX AND HOPS
Texas’ High Fells goes against the grain in regards to live blackened metal performance, they are longtime listeners of all different walks of music, and together they are proudly releasing their debut album “Catharsis” with they claim to be a journey between pure agony and anger, with a dash of hopelessness. It’s an emotional journey with sick riffs in which the lyrical content and the overall feeling of this album hit on a ton of mental and emotional wellness topics and the lack thereof. The band continues to explain:
“We are incredibly excited to debut our album “Catharsis” – the first of many to come. We’re excited to share it for many reasons, but primarily because it’s been such fun to write and perform, experimenting with styles and genres we’ve never fully committed to in other bands. The journey you’ll be taking over the course of 40 minutes will be a thought-provoking, visceral experience that will shed some light on mental illness and depressive episodes, something still a stigma in our current society.”
High Fells hopes that listeners can find something to relate to, something that will inspire them or helps convey emotions into words. They aim to shroud their lyrics with punishing riffs and blast beats that will ideally charm the listener.
Initially, High Fells set out to be a melodic black metal band, but as time has passed on and as they have played with more bands they love, the direction steered back towards death metal with that blackened flavor. Across the nine tracks, they bring ass-beating riffs with high-quality recordings.
Melodic, depressing, and angry, “Catharsis” is recommended for fans of Hath, Decapitated, and Sorrow Plagues.
2021 – Apparition of Fear (Singles)
2022 – A Summon (Single)
2022 – Where They Call My Name (SIngle)
2022 – Catharsis
SHARED STAGE WITH:
Rivers of Nihil, Alluvial, Warforged, Fallujah, Revocation, Krisiun, Inoculation, Cognitive, Summoning the Lich, My Missing Half
TOUR AND FESTIVALS:
2021 – Cognitive / Summoning the Lich / My Missing Half – Fort Worth
2022 – Rivers of Nihil / Fallujah / Alluvial / Warforged – Dallas
2022 – Revocation / Krisiun / Inoculation / Alluvial – Dallas
DropStrap guitar strap adjusters – Nick Smith
BAND STORY ANGLES / FUN FACTS:
1. High Fells played exclusively headless instruments for a while… there was a meme between band members about that Vine video where the guy is like… “So no head?” and throws his phone at the ground. We wanted to make a shirt to honor it but figured it’d probably be a little obscure. Shortly after, we played with Revocation and Chris convinced me (Nick) to get a Jackson. Now we’re team pointy obnoxious guitars till we die.
2. Half the band is HEAVY into anime and our guitars have obnoxious waifu stickers on the backs.
3. Our favorite warmup songs on guitar are either Ram Ranch by Grant McDonald, a VERY intentionally poor rendition of Sweet Child O’Mine, or some random Shania Twain lick. It goes over either really well or radio silence but we love it.
4. The art for our singles are photos taken by Nick at a nearby nature trail. I get incredibly terrifying vibes from there after sundown and have seen evidence of rituals performed in the clearings (even though I don’t believe in all that, it’s still spooky!)
5. Jeremiah has a concrete barn on his dad’s property with no light, heat, or air conditioning that he uses to practice when the rehearsal space is unavailable. When it’s 30 degrees out, when it’s 100+, when it’s raining, etc. Sometimes it rains enough that water comes in DURING PRACTICE.
1. Lingering – 3:56
2. Strangled – 4:04
3. Apparition of Fear – 3:38
4. Hypoxian – 4:08
5. A Summon – 3:22
6. Hiraeth – 6:52
7. Fall With the Sun – 3:01
8. Reaping Discontent – 4:31
9. Where They Call My Name – 5:45
Album Length: 39:14
• All songs performed by: High Fells
• All songs written by: High Fells
• Produced by: Nathan Wackett / Clay Schroeder / Nick Smith / Michael Briggs
• Mixed and Mastered by: Nathan Wackett
• Album Artwork by: Dawid Figielek
Album and Live Band Lineup:
Nick Smith – Guitar / Vocals
Chris Szymankiewicz – Guitar
Jeremiah Maynard – Drums
Erik McEwen – Bass / Backing Vocals
The album as a whole (LYRICALLY & MUSICALLY):
Catharsis is a journey between pure agony and anger, with a dash of hopelessness. You’ll know which is which.
Track by Track (LYRICALLY & MUSICALLY)
Lyrically… this was one of the first ones I wrote lyrics for and it focuses around the idea of personifying a sense of dread. It functions as a foreword for what’s to come – dread, anxiety, depression, thoughts of hopelessness.
Pure anxiety – the feeling of not being able to escape it.
3. Apparition of Fear
I (Nick) have recurring dreams of returning to the worst times in my life like I never moved past them. I’ll wake up sweating and unable to determine if they were real or not – AoF conveys this well.
Our issues with turning inward and suffering silently in place of reaching for help. Locking oneself away and losing any sense of self.
5. A Summon
A story I read not long ago about a character who was summoned from their world into another, to serve as the host for a cosmic entity. The thought of being thrown into another world, away from all you knew, and your body is no longer yours. Horrifying!
Chris – It’s the struggle of finding what home is, whatever that is whether it’s a person or a place. The anxiety of not feeling like you belong and everything thing feels off. It’s a struggle I think everyone can relate to at one point or another.
7. Fall With the Sun
As the album progresses, the overarching depressive lyrical content begins to culminate and manifest as the sun goes down, both literally and figuratively. The sadness amplifies at night, and we view our lives as being sunsetted by being unable to control these thoughts.
8. Reaping Discontent
Another nightmare from my past that has haunted me – this time I’ve accepted that I am to blame and I deserve this all.
9. Where They Call My Name
The eventuality of a lifetime of negative thoughts – we all use nature and forest walks as an escape from our daily problems, and I paralleled this with going the wrong direction and committing suicide in a place of healing.