|Review: Catamenia - Winternight Tragedies|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 14, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (4 Votes)
This is the sixth release of these Finnish metal-heads, and in spite of major line-up changes in their ranks, it seems they've unleashed another surge of modern styled melodious black metal. To be brutally honest, I'd never investigated into the band's music in the past, but from what I can gather speaking to a friend of mine who was into the band during their early days, is that they've slowly progressed into a more commercial sound from their earlier releases, peaking with the commercial aspects in this, their 2005 effort.
The band utilizes simple song structuring and catchier chorus melodies in order to make dynamic (but still pretty heavy) songs, being very much in the mid to late period Satyricon/Dimmu Borgir style, albeit minus the occasional industrialized soundscapes of the former, and the pompous, over the top symphonies of the latter. In fact, Satyricon's Fuel for Hatred is covered note for note here by the band, adding further weight behind the proof of Catamenia's influences. However, the band also provide quite a noticeable nod in the direction of a number of the more contemporary Viking bands around nowadays, especially Thyrfing and Ulvhedin, with some highly James Hetfield-esque vocals occasionally interspersed with the usual black metal screams and epic chants. All in all though, the band is black metal to the core (the album cover art has all the necessary black metal iconography – moon/wolf/tree/snow, and the album title includes the word winter in it – enough evidence for me).
'Winternight Tragedies' is an enjoyable enough effort from these Scandinavians, but unfortunately for them, it was never destined to be a classic. What they have to offer has been done before by countless bands peddling a similar style, and it's been done a lot better too. To be fair, there is some decent riffing to be heard here, but regrettably only mostly weak songs. Considering this was the band's sixth effort (in fact I believe they've recently released their seventh), it's pretty difficult to see them rising up to conquer any thrones in the foreseeable future.
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