Catholicon - _Treatise on the Abyss_
(Negativity Records, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
When a band makes strong use of "Cradle of Borgir"-styled keyboard flourishes, there invariably has to be something else that will distinguish them from the endless legions of third wave (and beyond) heavy black metal bands floating around the periphery of the scene. Thus the question is whether Catholicon possesses anything to distinguish them from the hordes of key tinklers.

The answer is a qualified "yes", as Catholicon are a particularly brutal take on the genre. Riffs and guttural growls more commonly associated with brutal death metal surface fairly frequently, whilst their unsubtle brand of blasphemy is far removed from the much loved goth existentialist eroticism nonsense that dominates.

Whilst the guitars are delightfully heavy, the drumming is somewhat less than stellar, and the rasp is not too far removed from what is expected form the genre. The album further suffers from a lack of coherency, as Catholicon move uncomfortably between short and straightforward numbers and longer and more complex tracks.

Catholicon do not entirely succeed in separating themselves form the other symphonic acts that litter the scene, but they should be commended for at least trying to establish an identity in this hotly contested field.


(article published 27/7/2007)

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