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Catamenia - VIII: The Time Unchained (CD)

VIII: The Time Unchained
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 20 November 2008, 12:23 PM

For an unknown reason I had always in my mind that CATAMENIA were just a new band from Finland. But the band's bio sheet revealed me the truth by informing that CATAMENIA came to life in 1995. The band counts seven full length albums and now returns with the eighth one that is released through Massacre Records.
CATAMENIA have been through several lineup changes settling to a five piece act leaving out of their plans the keyboards. My initial impression that CATAMENIA are new kids on the block is mainly due to the fact that none of their albums made a strong impact on the Metal scene.  The balanced mix of Black and Pagan Metal has a rather restricted yet strong fan base. Although, this specific Metal scene has become stronger with bands like ENSIFERUM, TURISAS and ELUIVEITE. Well, CATAMENIA cannot be considered as a pure Pagan Metal band because their Black side dominates and there no folk instruments in their music. Dominion opens the album and clearly states where it musically moves; fast guitar riffs screaming vocals that are loyal to the Nordic Metal tradition. Kari Vahakuopus is charge of the raw and kind of primitive clean vocals fitting perfectly to CATAMENIA's sound. Without the keyboards the band has gained on aggression and sometimes in heaviness while the straightforward compositions are full of energy. The melodic parts are restricted to the twin guitar harmonies revealing to some point some IRON MAIDEN deep influences. Personally, I really enjoy this primitive energy flow in CATAMENIA's music that is totally enhanced by the use of Nordic lyrics. The guitars bear an IMMORTAL feeling with 'monotonous' high pitched riffs creating a compact sound wall like in Embody And Behold where even some low Death grunts can be found.
CATAMENIA 'experiment' a little bit with pure Heavy Metal forms in the groovy The Last Day Before… where the clean vocals prove their worth. Headbanging, moshing, crowd surfing and other violent activities can take place with the live performance of the fast Garden Of Thorns and Uhrimaljia that also feature some joyful blast beats.
The album closes with three cover songs; the first is a surprise since it comes from FAITH NO MORE a band that has nothing to do with CATAMENIA's music background. Well, the track follows the original with the interesting addition of Black Metal backing vocals. For the other two covers I do not have an opinion since the originals are totally unknown to me. The only thing I can add here is that last one Synti Voittaa has an excellent Punk backbone that strangely fits to CATAMENIA style. There is also a hidden track here; it's CATAMENIA's humurous point of view (and lyrics) for Bad To The Bone that words are not enough to describe… Well, if you like the previous CATAMENIA albums then you will also like this (perhaps even more) but if you don't then give this a try. Below you can watch live footage of Lost Bitterness featuring the new lineup.

3 Star Rating

The Time Unchained
Embody And Behold
Tuhon Oma
The Last Day Before…
Road Of Bones
Garden Of Thorns
From Out Of Nowhere
Synti Voittaa
Riku Hopeakoski - Vocals
Ari Nissila - Vocals, Guitar
Toni Kansanoja - Drums
Kari Vahakuopus - Clean Vocals
Record Label: Massacre Records


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