Throne of Katarsis

An Eternal Dark Horizon

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Just about any type of music imaginable has its share of purists who have very definite ideas about how that type of music should and shouldn't be played. Black metal is no different; it isn't hard to find black metal purists who insist that Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth are a bastardization of black metal and claim that bands are watering black metal down if they use a lot of keyboards, have any gothic tendencies or identify themselves as symphonic black metal. Those purists long for a rawer, tougher, more primal approach to black metal, and listeners who fancy that approach should be aware of An Eternal Dark Horizon (the official debut album by Norway's Throne of Katarsis). Although recorded in 2005 and 2006 and released in 2007, this derivative CD recalls the early days of black metal; An Eternal Dark Horizon thrives on the type of rawness that characterized black metal in the late '80s and early '90s, and Katarsis sound like they are well aware of black metal's punk and hardcore roots. No one will mistake Eternal Dark Horizon for symphonic black metal; it's way too jagged for that -- which isn't to say that this 55-minute disc is devoid of complexity. Katarsis offers the occasional melodic passage, but most of the time, they don't hesitate to go for the jugular. And while some black metal bands have embraced an extreme vocals/clean vocals contrast (mainly in symphonic black metal), Katarsis singer Grimnisse sticks with a sinister, blood-curdling rasp. An Eternal Dark Horizon isn't in a class with the best material that Gorgoroth and Marduk (two other heavy-handed black metal bands from Scandinavia) have to offer, but it's a decent and noteworthy celebration of black metal's garage-like beginnings.

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