Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Temple of Katharsis - In The Beginning Review

In The Beginning cover art
Temple of Katharsis is a black metal band formed in 2011 in Greece.  While not much information is known on the band, their first and only demo as of now speaks for itself and really proves the band as a force to be reckoned with.  The demo, spanning only 9 minutes, is a mix of first wave black metal influences with the punishing sounds of well known second wave bands like Burzum and 1349.

There are only three tracks included with this first release and all are quite short.  Don't be discouraged by this, though, as every track is a flesh-ripping piece of sound that will leave you screaming for more.  The evil atmosphere that hangs over every track is one that cannot be ignored.  The music feels very dark and has a murky overtone to it, giving it that evil overtone.  The drums are well played and diverse.  I was never annoyed by anything the drum patterns did, which is quite rare from smaller releases.  Bands that just begin don't have their own defined sound, so they tend to copy their influences and the drumming, especially, starts to become repetitive.  With Temple of Katharsis, the drumming is exciting and really adds life to the music.  It is a shame that the drums are almost completely lost in the mix and can barely be heard at some points.  On the other hand, the vocals are so forward that they get in the way of everything.  This is not a bad thing at all, as they are quite good.  I immediately thought that they sounded a bit like Ravn's vocals from 1349.  The menacing shrieks and gut-wrenching growls shine through the music with ease.  Hidden in the middle of the mix is the guitar.  The riffs sound something close to 1349 and at points, mixed with the likes of early Venom.  It is a unique blend of two different forms of black metal and it works nicely.  All three songs sound quite varied and unique to one another.  In 'Dark Tormented Souls',  ToK shreds with a devastating tremolo picked riff until a slower, three chord progression chimes in and becomes a focal point for the rest of the song.  From the sounds of it, 'Dark Tormented Souls' is the high point of the album mainly due to the fresh and unique songwriting style.

Temple of Katharsis is off to an amazing start in terms of songwriting.  Unfortunately, all their songs end up being quite short and with only 3 songs released so far, who knows if they will be able to keep their diverse sound going for long.  As for 'In The Beginning', it is a work of pure black metal that Satan, himself would be proud to listen to and I cannot wait to hear what else these guys have in store for us!

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