Katharsis The Red Eye of Wrath

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treowThe humble beginnings of what would later become an unhinged source of a pure torrent of black metal energy are see in The Red Eye of Wrath in their simplest form. Katharsis begins their story by constructing powerful songs that ride on simple power-chord phrases with mannerisms inspired in the style of Possessed, while stripping it down to essentials and propelling it to fully-formed black metal. In doing so, Katharsis adopts here an extreme taste for shocking passages without making the contrast of sections the main attraction, for they still remain related through perceivable, though perhaps murky, motif patterns. This style also relies on the dynamism of the drums to provide a great part of the content, allowing for the simple melodic riffs to stay for a longer time without need for modifications.

While possessing the endearing aura of the most primal and stripped down records of black metal, the initial expression of the budding Katharsis leans towards the doom-like ambient effect that black metal can sometimes rely on to carry a sense of cadence. These are alternated by frenetic charges of also extremely minimal and more often than not dissonant horizontal sequences. The use of pauses greatly enhances articulation power, allowing for the energy of riff to be either funneled, retained or simply make transitions more smooth. As whole, however, the realization of songs remains rather incomplete, given the scant nature of individual sections in terms of their melodic communication structures, so to call them.

The shortcomings of this first release are made up for in the debut album, while hidden potential continues to grow from this same model over several albums until a maximum expression is arrived at before rock conventionalisms start to take over more often than a raw black metal should allow to retain its otherworldly nature. The Red Eye of Wrath, while full of energy and working towards an honest and effective satanic eloquence, still appears under the strong influence of older bands, and not yet how to balance compositions as to fully utilize the power of expression latent in the style. In between the lines, however, we can grasp the veiled personality of Katharsis, that is never fully revealed even in later times, as befits an esoteric communication. That is to say, Katharsis’ face here, as always, remains somewhat elusive through its own technique.

If one is to recommend the highlights of this first album, the experienced listener should not fail to appreciate and enjoy the impulse towards expressive purity in the riff construction which strives at once for both a stripped-down, bare-bones nature and a destructive power in harmonic contrast of a sort. In this department, one should always include praise to the drums which do not fail to play more than a small part, thus beginning to build on a music that will later afford as almost as much importance to the drums s to the guitars. Where many other satanic black metal bands fail at the musical level to construct a proper and respectable music that alludes to and moves one to feelings of destruction and dissolution through works of sinister terror, Katharsis’ beginning in The Red Eye of Wrath builds the bases of the unique, and surely immortal, monument that their unfolding work has become despite its being relatively unknown as a work of 21st century underground musicians.

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