Katavasia - Magnus Venator review




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Reviewer:
8.0

53 users:
7.92
Band: Katavasia
Album: Magnus Venator
Release date: September 2020


01. Daughters Of Darkness
02. The Tyrant
03. Blood Be My Crown
04. Chthonic Oracle
05. Saturnalia Magnus Cult
06. Triumphant Fate
07. Sinistral Covenant
08. Hordes Of Oblivion
09. Babylon (Sammu-Rawat)


Katavasia is a supergroup whose younger members use their instruments to revive the style of music that their eldest member helped shape and evolve back in the '90s.

Led by Stefan Necroabyssious of Varathron fame and featuring musicians from two of the most forward-thinking Greek metal bands of the last decade - Aenaon and Hail Spirit Noir - Katavasia is more of a side project paying homage to early Rotting Christ and Varathron. There is no innovation here originating from the younger and more progressive spirits; consequently, what we essentially get is the sound of vintage Hellenic black metal, in which the guitars follow more traditional heavy metal forms, the melodies are warmer and based on feeling rather than on the coldness of the northern black metal bands, the synths are more occult and slightly dungeon-esque, and the music evokes an atmosphere appropriate for a descent* to Hades, where the howls and growls of Necroabyssious rattle the rusty gates of the Underworld and make the three-headed Cerberus curl up in the corner like a scared puppy.

Compared to Katavasia's debut, Magnus Venator (The Great Hunter in Latin) is more memorable, it has better flow and it is full of gripping melodic hooks. Shifting from thrashing to folksy and from epic to rocking, the album retains its mischievously appealing blackened persona through and through, even without presenting much novelty. The only curveball - and my personal pick from this album - is "Sinistral Covenant", a song that sounds as if Kraftwerk had decided to write a meloblack song on which the synths dictate the rhythm and the groove that the guitars are riffing on.

The sole reason why I am not rating this album even higher is the first paragraph of this review. While the music is fairly addictive, there is not a lot here that you won't find in Non Serviam or Walpurgisnacht. Katavasia are clearly a project based on nostalgia and they don't pretend to be something else, but this also means that what they have on offer cannot possibly reach the magnetism of the original. This doesn't mean that Magnus Venator has no reason to exist of course, quite the opposite; after all, it is one of the best melody-focussed black metal releases of this year.

"I hear the whispers in the dark
Time, the daughters of darkness
Dressed in black!"

*Katavasia is a type of hymn, chanted in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite. Its name is derived from the Greek word "καταβασία", which means "descent", so called because the cantors used to "descend" from their stalls and unite in the middle of the church to sing these particular hymns.


 



Written on 01.10.2020 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 74 users
01.10.2020 - 10:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Wouldn't mind if they added a bit more "neo-Hellenic bm" in their sound from the younger members as opposed to just vintage worship, but then again this is one of the best sounds to worship.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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01.10.2020 - 10:45
nikarg
Mod
Written by RaduP on 01.10.2020 at 10:32

Wouldn't mind if they added a bit more "neo-Hellenic bm" in their sound from the younger members as opposed to just vintage worship, but then again this is one of the best sounds to worship.

Yes, I would have probably preferred that too. For instance, I would have liked more songs in the vein of "Sinistral Covenant" but they have made it clear in interviews that they have a specific goal for this project and this goal is to recreate a particular sound. What is striking about this album is the fact that it is not Stefan behind the songwriting (which would make a lot of sense since there is a lot of overlapping between Katavasia and even recent Varathron), but the two Aenaon members.
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01.10.2020 - 11:00
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
And there was varagians, and Michael the V was Dead n gone.

Great reviev, album, nostaly is great thing, some way mid life crisis for metalheads, i had not such thing, since i am same, same bread of metal as im the youth, only beard is longer. Hellas kills black metal scene in Barbaric lasnds this year.
Damn radu is so young... Soon he will reach our age

barbarians are those who dont speak greek
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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01.10.2020 - 20:45
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Based on your writeup, I imagine I'll end up really enjoying this. It's been on my list of things to listen to for a while but I kept putting it off.
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I have no memory of this place.
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02.10.2020 - 01:07
nikarg
Mod
Written by Troy Killjoy on 01.10.2020 at 20:45

Based on your writeup, I imagine I'll end up really enjoying this. It's been on my list of things to listen to for a while but I kept putting it off.

Let us know what you think when you listen.
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02.10.2020 - 14:57
Enemy of Reality
It's on my best of 2020 list, great album!
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03.10.2020 - 14:11
Batlord666
I really enjoyed this album. Like you said, it doesn't do a whole lot new, but it was a fun listen. My favorite songs were the "Sinistral Covenant" you mentioned and the last song.
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