Title: Of Lineages Long Forgotten
Label: Willowtip Records
Release date: 13 May 2022
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
I was really eager about the new album by Katharos, even if it’s not a long time since I listened for the first time to their debut album “Exuvian Heraldry” released five and a half years ago. But right from the start, I could notice that this Swedish Symphonic Black Metal was delivering great music, and the truth is that “Of Lineages Long Forgotten” is even better in terms of quality.
First of all, let me introduce the band members to you:
Richard Annerhall – Vocals, Guitars
Max Müssbichler – Guitars, Bass
Christofer Sköld – Keyboards
Tatu Kerttula – Drums
So yeah, to be honest when I first “reached” to Katharos was only because Tatu Kerttula (Wormwood) is in its lineup and I was curious about his other band. And I’m more than glad that I checked it ‘cause I fell instantly in love with Katharos.
“Of Lineages Long Forgotten” is a fantastic album at so many levels! The symphonic elements are present all along with the songs and most of the time they confer the music an epic/dark/spectral feel that gives me goosebumps! Even if they are everywhere, only a few times do keyboards take more leadership, like in “Lay Yersinian Siege”, and then ohh… I can be really carried away by the intensity of the feelings they convey. They lead the listener to atmospheric and ethereal passages, well, I’m overwhelmed by how great keyboards are played in this album.
Guitars and bass play in a dark tone; riffs are heavy and hypnotic, taking you to magnificent loops along with the keyboards playing the symphonic stuff, and in “Feigned Retreat” there’s a taste of how really intricate work they can do! And, instead of fighting for predominance against keyboards, all these instruments are melted together in a delightful bliss for your ears.
Vocalist seems to have ripped off his throat with every scream, sounds impressive! Full of torment and aggression, fitting totally the genre. Damn… that’s a perfect display of harsh screams and teared howls! And drums are simply relentless, blasting with no mercy; the bass pedal is mostly steaming and Tatu’s skills at smashing his drum kit using a vast repertoire of tricks and turns make these 7 songs something unbearable in terms of beauty. At least that’s how I see it. Listen to how he unleashes all his fury in the third track, “Of Lineages Long Forgotten”; his beating is fast, varied, and breathtaking, and he only gives a short respite just before the final attack… What an impressive work!
I’m really glad Katharos crossed my path, this is a fantastic Symphonic Black Metal album and if you enjoy this genre, I highly recommend you don’t miss this! I give it 9/10 Sílvia
9/10 Epic Storm
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