posted on 8/2009 By:
So, the first thing you'll probably notice upon entering the room is the rather sizeable elephant in the corner with this album title stamped on its forehead. I have no intention of softening the blow with claims of, "well, there was obviously a first and second Reich long before the unpardonable third." It's fairly obvious why these dudes chose a title capable of conjuring indignation, and if you choose to write them off as some sort of thick-skulled sympathizers and curse them to an early grave, then I suppose the band's initial filter has done its job of weeding out the first batch; the Katharsis brand of impugning, bedeviled black metal is not for you.
Beyond the ill-feelings conjured by the album's title, Katharsis cast a wealth of other tricks intended to blanket listeners beneath a damning shroud. Crude, slashing riffs scratch and infect like panicked rats racing sewer-to-sewer; entangling bass-line's rope struggling victims into heavily webbed corners; curt, tremolo breakouts wriggle like carrion maggots sniffing the air for decay; drums batter and crack with nail-splintering fury; and tainted vocals rasp, echo and howl the most ghoulish of Psalms with a violent delight -- this is the music of Katharsis. And this particular brand of black metal is one they've been wickedly honing for the better part of the last 15-years.
While I'd comfortably say the band's entire discography rolls like a demented hellion, it was 2006's excellent VVorldVVithoutEnd that really pushed the band into a realm completely separate from the obvious influences that helped pave the way for their first two full-lengths. Not that one can no longer plainly hear the early Darkthrone influence, but the new era of Katharsis issues in an entirely new level of hallucination into the mix. Tunes stretch to 10-minutes and beyond, with murderous riffs and burning howls repeatedly attacking with an unrelenting enthusiasm. Somehow the band has figured out a way to push the level of possession to the brink of eruption. The Fourth Reich maintains that heightened level of bedevilment, but the fever is a few degree's lighter compared to the 2006 release, and they've managed to work in some new maneuver's that add a little flare to the restless dementia. There's a melodic, dare I say "pretty" touch pervading the final measure of "Eucharistick Funeral", and D. Wolfram of fellow countrymen Orlog provides a long, fluid lead towards the close of "Sinn Koronation" that also fits surprisingly well. But the true black sheep of these five incantations strikes with "Emeralde Graves", a 5-minute wind-swept instrumental interlude centered around horror film keyboard atmospherics before eventually breaking into the dour, remarkably trudging stride of the 10-minute album closer.
Like seemingly everything released by Norma Evangelium Diaboli, the presentation and packaging is once again top-notch. Both the vinyl and cd release have artwork that's perfectly suited for the damning intent behind the music within. If you've not yet sampled the corruption that is Katharsis and find the idea of a more hallucinatory, fevered Darkthrone alluring, I'd say you've found a firm candidate for your next purchase. And if you're already a fan of the band and have yet to pick this record up, I'd say your hard-earned money will be well spent; The Fourth Reich is a foul, iniquitous black metal record that's sure to match the most heinous of moods. Highly recommended.
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