Katatonia - Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival review
|Album:||Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival|
|Release date:||July 1993|
01. Midvinter Gates (Prologue)
02. Without God
03. Palace Of Frost
04. The Northern Silence
05. Crimson Tears (Epilogue)
It is the summer of 1992 and Katatonia is a young melancholic band in the studio recording their new EP Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival for the following year. At this point, the members are in their late teens and are a much different band than the one who will go on to release more "contemporary" opuses such as Viva Emptiness and Dead End Kings.
Unlike their later works, this EP is much darker and heavier in musical content, and features many of the classic death/doom trademarks, slow and heavy riffs, acoustic guitars, keyboards, and of course Jonas Renkse's bloodcurdling, almost black metal-styled growls, before he lost the ability to pull them off properly.
The production and sound, unlike their later works, is far more murky and distorted with a few detectable instances in the song "The Northern Silence" where the sound cuts out briefly in the left speaker. Despite this, every instrument can still be heard clearly amid the muddy and dusty sound. This album contains three songs and two instrumentals to "bookend" the songs within, giving off an almost thematic vibe to the listening experience. The songwriting on the album is particularly captivating. Each of the instrumentals start and finish the EP in a splendid fashion, almost as if this were a mini-concept release of some sort. The three songs on here are also well crafted, even if the lyrics are a bit ordinary by their standards. There are different movements and undulations in each song that keep the listener engaged, and not growing bored.
The performance of the songs, while solid, is still slightly unfocused and loose throughout. The most glaring example of this is in the early version of "Without God", in which the drums become out of sync with the rest of the music through certain moments of the song, and that tends to be a distracting factor for the listener; they will eventually tighten up their performance and officially release this song on their first studio release Dance Of December Souls months later.
With this release, Katatonia gained a large following, had much build up for the release of Dance Of December Souls in the winter of 1993, and would go on to become one of the most renowned bands in the modern doom metal movement. While not as impressive as latter-day efforts, this EP stands as one of the first official declarations of these melancholic Swedes' arrival on to the global metal scene.
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