Rating:
9.8
Catamenia - Halls Of Frozen North
20 January 1998


01. Dreams Of Winterland
02. Into Infernal
03. Freezing Winds Of North
04. Enchanting Woods
05. Halls Of Frozen North
06. Forest Enthroned
07. Awake In Dark
08. Song Of The Nightbird
09. Icy Tears Of Eternity
10. Burning Aura
11. Child Of Sunset
12. Land Of The Autumn Winds
13. Pimeä Yö
14. Outro


Yes, this is an interesting piece of work that I had the privilege to listen to. Halls Of Frozen North released via Massacre Records on Jan 20th, 1998 by Catamenia, hailing from the extreme north of Europe and producing Frozen black metal. I had thought they would only play black metal, but what these Finns offer us is a very good mix of miscellaneous elements.

As you can see, black metal was and still is the founder of the metal sound, but these guys play much more than only black metal. The opening track, "Dreams Of Winterland," offers us an emotional symphonic atmosphere, after an acoustic beginning, a highly melodic black metal entrance leashes out, supported with great melodies and a remarkable howling of Mika Tönning, which perfectly complement the musical structure, with powerful drumming, double-bass here, blastbeats there. Suddenly, the music breaks down calmer and replaced after few seconds with growls on the one hand and clean vocals with atmospheric keyboards on the other. "Enchanting Woods" starts with great riffs, sudden onslaught of heaviness before turning furiously to extreme black metal, again with growls and further on the song is much more heavy than the beginning, followed with progressive parts, not really my taste, but still makes me listen up. The remaining tracks, continue like that, melodic parts, with clean/growl vocals, driven double bass and powerful guitars, before turning to an aggressive passage with a lot of heaviness and melodies before we get surprised by a very calm part, acoustic guitars and clean vocal with weak drumming. So, we have here 46:33 minutes through furiousness, atmospheric, growls, clean, breaks, some progressiveness, mixing so many elements, but still good while that you can only wonder if the next Catamenia album will be as good as Halls Of Frozen North.

Overall, Halls Of Frozen North is a solid debut, even mandatory, offering unique blend of Black Metal which kicks your ass for 46 minutes of goddamn creativity. You know, I would be criminal if I will continue to describe it, because I don't think that my words can do it justice.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Catamenia
Album: Halls Of Frozen North


 


written by Mindheist | 18.09.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Sunioj - 16.04.2007 at 00:37  
Fantastic, I agree with the score, this is IMO the best effort from Catamenia aside from morning crimson and winternight tragedies, the melodicity is so much more active on this album and the keys create the classic surreal atmosphere.
Uirapuru - 25.03.2008 at 12:50  
Not best work from Catamenia.. but still a good album. Thats a great band, figures in my top 5 of Melodic Black metal. Best tracks: ''Into Infernal'', ''Halls Of Frozen North'' and ''Icy Tears of Eternity''.
Passe - 06.09.2008 at 02:59  
The score is maybe a bit high, but this is with no doubt a strong piece of modern black metal. The melodic and athmospheric elements just fit perfectly in this album, Catamenia managed to make their own sound.

Their best release so far. Morning Crimson must also be checked, another great job from them.
Lord_Regnier - 18.04.2009 at 15:02  
A very good melodic BM album but not among the best Catamenia albums, imo. It's a rather 'quiet' album for Catamenia, especially if you compare it to anything they have done since "ChaosBorn" (incl).
Vitriolic Hate - 07.12.2009 at 21:13  
Great debut!
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.08.2012 at 03:02  
Okay album nothing more nothing less, but the best Catamenia have recorded. Would rate it a 6.7
E-P-I-C - 21.08.2012 at 02:42  
Catamenia was just soooo fucking epic, forever one of my favorite black metal bands. but now they changed almost all the line-up and it sucks really bad...

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