Hailing from Sweden Symphonic Black Metal troupe Katharos unleash turbulent, triumphant and grandiose, keyboard drenched Black Metal pomp of the most theatrical and rousing nature.

On their sophomore album ‘Of Lineages Long Forgotten’ Katharos conjure forth a majestic forty eight minute opus that is fraught with lethal riffs, blistering drumming and rhythmic dexterity that draws upon the type of garish bluster of Dimmu Borgir and Emperor.

Although sheathed in sparkling layers of orchestration there is an inherent violence that underlies the Black Metal pantomime that Katharos construct. Opening tracks “Those Hornclad” and “Feigned Retreat” are emblematic of the inherent malevolence that simmers beneath the ornate set dressing that stitches this album together.

Title track “Of Lineages Long Forgotten” is a labyrinth of thorny riffs and atmospheric layering that very much displays the epic, chest thumping, leather clad nature of the seven tracks that make up this majestic album.

Generally, as a rule, I am quite particular concerning Black Metal of this sort yet I find every nuanced layer and theatrical swathe of keys to serve a purpose within the sonic tapestry that Katharos create on ‘Of Lineages Long Forgotten’.

Thankfully for me this is an album that is of a far more ferocious and feral bent then a melancholic one, an overriding aspect that I find most enthralling indeed.

Beginning with the rousing “Those Hornclad” which is packed to the rafters with majestic riffs and swirling symphonic layering one is led along a journey of the most grandiose proportions which features a further six slabs of seriously scorching, glossy and immaculately constructed Black Metal magic.

Title track “Of Lineages Long Forgotten” is an epic paean to ancestry and arcane cultures lost to the bludgeoning march of time, a triumphant, trigger happy hotbed of histrionic overtures and hellish double kick delirium.

Tracks such as “The World Serpents Marrow”, “I waged War” and “Most Dread Portent” shimmer with dark incandescence and bristle with vitriolic swagger, the type that are sheathed in flesh ripping solos and built upon frenetic tempos.

In conclusion ‘Of Lineages Long Forgotten’ is a frothing and ferocious work of streamlined song-craft and shimmering Black Metal sorcery that is as infectious as an airborne contagion. If fist pumping arena oriented Black Metal is your idea of a good time then get ready to party with Katharos.

-Asher Locketz-


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