A word on Katharsis

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§ A brief recount of a sinister musickal discovery


As a reflection of their name, Katharsis have composed a black metal of frenetic urges maintained by an organic stream of spontaneous creativity. In action, this urgency is but the surface of the music, while deeper layers hide the detailed sensibilities of a mind decidedly giving in to the calls from the unconscious. It is to be expected that music produced in flirtation with chaos will be riddled with noise, especially in its initial phases when the musicians are still inexperienced in dealing with the fountain unrepressed natural energy. What remains relevant as an element of coherence is that the central conscious hand retains a sense of narrative that lends intrinsic meaning to the storm of ideas which pour through that rent between universes.

The approach exercised by Katharsis renders their music inconspicuous, and the resulting style focuses on a narrow and rather unvarying usage of power chords to form phrases, which phrases in turn stress rhythm in order to attain a whole value. It is thus that this music acquires the quality of a rabid and inhuman sinister chant: its center being constituted of melodic traces expressed through affirmative themes are then enhanced and adorned by the savage beating of drumming more appropriate for destructive meditation than for uplifting heroism.

The collection of publications by Katharsis evidences the minds of artists in a continued discovery of the strengths of a style after the manner of a seed that has been plated deep within the soil of the psyche, beyond their own conscious control. It flourishes and is tended by an increasingly focused attention on the horrors brought forth by that contraposition that gives Katharsis its name; slowly and secretly spilling black the black tentacles of a monolithic dark god.

The first complete appearance of Katharsis was named 666, and it made use of the different variations on the style that had been explored throughout their demos, thus bringing them together into a rather unorganized yet directed effort. The words and themes used reflect an initiatic flavor full of mythological colorings bathed in darkness. As a whole, it is a series of impressions, rushed images and inspired flights with a definite direction, but which do not yet fall into place as the musicians struggle with its force.

As a musical approach solidifies, so does the lyrical concept: we advanced from a novice stage into an apparently initiatic one. With Kruzifixxion, Katharsis leaves behind the speed metal mannerisms reminiscent of Possessed, embracing the phrasal, theme-creating potential of a driving, moving power chord. While the music is clearer in its expressed articulation, as each section attains a function in context, there is a heightened sensation of madness which was expressed only roughly and superficially before; a true journey in darkness —an experience concreted where before only faith stood.

The music on the red-cover record, VVORLDVVITHOUTEND, has turned from the phrasal, almost orchestral, emphasis on a Wagnerian thematic drive, and is now pushed down and forth into militant black metal trance. The visions are now more refined, perhaps even more studied and clarified through a deeper study of a dark tradition —darkness made wholly conscious. Great refinements have gone hand in hand with a passionate fever increased through growth in all pertinent directions to a sorcerer, deceptively avoiding all illusory superficial changes of form into what others would call refinement.

Having diffused the grandstanding thematic gestures to focus on the darker, more aggressive expression of a raw black metal, Katharsis finally sink into their ultimate incarnation, proficiently economical and unapologetically reductionist. The concepts in the words, now driven beyond the myths, experiences and erudition, into a visionary wisdom, reveal a new invocation of dark forces for a violently apocalyptic end to this world at every level of reality. There appears to be a heightened sense of purpose, an anti-hero crazed, a zealot engulfed in ascetic single-minded battle frenzy.

Ever since Katharsis reached that last peak of the epitomized aesthetics they cultivated, nothing more has been heard from them by the world at large. A dignified adept perhaps knows the time and season for each thing; few are the black metal endeavors that dissipate into immortality in a final ritual that crystalizes their archetypal being in the way that Katharsis has done so. Great experimentalists of demonic voices and sinister auras, the inhuman beings who have contrived this essentially post-necromantic apocalyptic summoning show, throughout their varied yet consistent work, that there is no one single entrance to the domain of shadows, but that any effective method to procure the necessary keys must rely on a tangible link and an unleashed psyche procured by powerful volition.

5 comments on “A word on Katharsis”

  1. D.A.R.G, “that last peak of the epitomized aesthetics they cultivated”; are you still referring to VVorld VVithout End, or onward to Fourth Reich? (I’ve only heard Kruzifixxion.)

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    1. I could say some things, in general, about “The apparent dissonance between the artist and the art” in general.
      In this case, however, I would like to know what you are referring to, exactly.
      Do direct me to “news” on Drakh and/or Katharsis, please.

      On a similar note, what happened to Darkkarma and S.V.E.S.T.?

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      1. I thought ‘the thing’ with Drakh was known widely by now. I’ll rather send you a message via FB and then you can address it if deemed interesting (I myself haven’t made my mind on it).

        I have no idea on S.V.E.S.T.

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