Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 4/3/2007
Throne Of Katarsis
An Eternal Dark Horizon
posted on 9/2007 By:
Norway’s Throne of Katarsis have obviously taken their time on this, their first full-length. Eternal Dark Horizon is comprised mostly of reworked and rerecorded tracks off of their two demos, Unholy Holocaustwinds and Blodslakt, and the songs contained herein show a marked improvement from their older incarnations. Stretching five songs over 55 minutes without venturing into sprawling Xasthurian territory is a fairly ambitious undertaking for a black metal band, yet Throne of Katarsis pull it off with aplomb – the songs are given just enough room to evolve and expand, without getting redundant or long-for-length’s-sake.
Twelve-minute album opener “Funeral Moonlight” starts things off with one of black metal’s favorite devices – the “intro of creepy howling winds and eerie voices, abruptly cut short by a sledgehammer of raw shrieking grimness.” I don’t know why bands still insist on doing this; it’s not a surprise anymore, guys – you’re not fooling anyone with those ambient intros of yours! Nitpicking aside, this album rules pretty hard. Eternal Dark Horizon sticks to a slow-to-mid-pace, and the drums stay in the background, with blastbeats used to anchor rather than to bludgeon. The vocals are about what you’d expect from this sort of band. Vocalist Grimnisse leads off the death march into a whirlpool of deceptively-simple, deliciously-hypnotic riffs, and makes sure to run the gamut from traditional BM croak to unhinged shrieks to menacing death rumbles, and even the odd clean intonation here and there. A finely-tuned ear may even detect some traces of Malefic’s cavernous howls in Grimnesse’s delivery, but that’s about as close to a Xasthur influence as you’ll find on this release. If pressed for comparisons, I’d point instead towards like-minded black metal hordes Enthroned, Merrimack and Woods of Ypres, all of whom share Throne of Katarsis’ penchant for weaving acoustic or melodic passages into otherwise scorching, warped BM.
The most interesting parts of this black metal opus aren’t very black metal at all. Throne of Katarsis have chosen to take the road less traveled (as far as this sort of raw, unrelenting BM goes) by utilizing strains of melody and crafting soft acoustic passages that really add the needed touch that separates this album from the dozens of other new black metal releases coming out. Be sure to take the mention of melody with a grain of salt; we’re not talking Alcest or Amesours here - this is black fucking metal, all right. Throne of Katarsis still keep things suitably evil, dirty, and thoroughly blackened, but throw in enough interesting elements to keep this tried’n’true sound from getting stale.
Eternal Dark Horizon is the kind of album you can really get into – plenty of layers to dissect, and songs that never fail to capture your interest in spite of their length. It’s nonessential, and, as always, “they’re not reinventing the wheel,” but I’d definitely recommend it anyway. Hell of an album.
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