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Throne Of Katarsis - The Three Transcendental Keys Award winner

Throne Of Katarsis
The Three Transcendental Keys
by Dorothy Cheng at 24 October 2013, 10:28 PM

Orchestral Black Metal should not be confused with Symphonic Black Metal. Symphonic Black Metal is what it says it is: musically, it incorporates sounds and elements from non-contemporary instruments and fuses typical chamber music with Black Metal. Orchestral Black Metal on the other hand, is not an "official subgenre" of any kind but rather, a term I find most fitting for particular Black Metal bands that have a very orchestra-ic way of making their music.

Take THRONE OF KATARSIS with their newest album, The Three Transcendental Keys, for instance. They're your trademark Black Metal band, but they have a way of doing things that is very akin to the relationship between conductor and orchestra, Beethoven and a piano, and even Math Rock dudes with their computers and genius. Let me explain that further:

When I use the term orchestral, I'm not talking about harps and violins, I'm talking about a particular atmosphere and way of doing things. THRONE OF KATARSIS have a very meticulous and well-orchestrated way of presenting their music, so much so that each moment in each track is a flowing, conscious, entity of musical matter. Each song runs from 10 to 20 minutes but never fails to be captivating and engaging. The three tracks mirror the sequence and artistry of a three-act play, from introduction to climax and finally to conclusion. And the brilliant part is within each track or "act", there lies more variations to play out the way an orchestra would play the soundtrack for a three-act play.

The various movements in each song and the resulting story they tell when combined is spectacularly theatrical, the dramatic effect of the musical crescendos and eerie riffing exploding with the firm conviction of a finale each time a song ends.

The actual finale of the album, the last track, cultivates and gathers every eerie, climactic, and dramatic sound and atmosphere there was to the rest of the album and expounds it in the most sophisticated way of story-telling I've seen a Metal band undertake in a while.

Each track is an experience and a soundtrack to a creepy and dark unfolding of a story. Black Metal bands have the uncanny ability and space to be dramatic and theatrical, but not all of them make the most of this opportunity to experiment. THRONE OF KATARSIS on the other hand, have taken this opportunity and wielded it so magnificently and skillfully that I have no other word to describe their way of doing things other than "orchestral".

4 Star Rating

1. The First Transcendental Key: Of Rituals (And Astral Spells)
2. The Second Transcendental Key: Beyond the Specters
3. The Third Transcendental Key: In Timeless Aspects
Infamroth - Vocals, Guitar, Organ
Skinndød - Guitar
Sanrabb - Bass
Vardalv - Drums
Record Label: Candlelight Records


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Edited 07 October 2022

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