Released: 2009, Candlelight Records
I’m certainly getting more than my fair share of black metal this month. Throne of Katarsis hail from Norway and definitely pays its unholy homage to the eldritch pantheon of second/third wave Norwegian black metal bands. Go on, throw a pitchfork and I guarantee you will spear yourself some Immortal, Darkthrone and Satyricon, albeit in their latter phases.
Straight off the bat, this sounds like no-nonsense, straightforward blasting black metal full of evil intent and godlessness. ‘The Winds Of Blasphemy Have Returned’ is one such track, while they slow it right down to the point of Level Plod on the ten minute long ‘The Darkest Path’. In previous reviews I have mentioned the ability of certain albums or songs that can make you feel like you’re walking down a lonely forest path in the dead of night…this is one such example, aptly titled even for maximum convenience!
By this time though, I’m pretty much ready to veer off this sodden gnarled forest path and return to the world of the living and the sane, but the torture doesn’t let up, as the fourth song, the title track ‘Det Iskalde Mørket’ is nearly 18 minutes long. It’s a twisted behemoth of a song, seething with cold frenzy, armed with chaotic drumming and snarly guitar riffs, all bound together by Imfamroth’s hellish rasp.
This isn’t your shittily produced, ultra-kvlt bedroom one-man band – this is well-made Norwegian black metal that manages to keep the spirit of Satyricon and Immortal alive while still maintaining some semblance of quality in songwriting and production. I readily admit that I have to be in a certain mood to enjoy black metal (and typing this on a sunny London day isn’t conducive to that mood), and the only thing preventing it from a higher score is that I got a bit bored by the massive song lengths. But I’m pretty sure that a black metal fan will be pleased with this album. In Nomine Satanas!