Catamenia - _Eskhata_
(Massacre Records, 2002)
by: Vincent Eldefors (7 out of 10)
If I were to say that I am a black metal purist, I would definitely be lying; but I am a very open-minded metal fan and enjoy everything from progressive and power metal to black metal and grindcore. Therefore, I will attempt to review this fourth full-length album from the Finnish band Catamenia. Unlike their neighbouring countries Norway and Sweden, Finland hasn't really had a tradition of producing famous black metal bands, but for the last five or ten years the Finnish metal scene has been the arena of some explosive development. Bands like Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Sentenced, Amorphis, Nightwish, Children of Bodom and others have had great success all over the world. Most of these are hardly black metal bands, but Catamenia are for sure. Catamenia have been brave enough not to use the Spinefarm trademark -- a massive use of keyboards -- even though Kalmah drummer Janne Kusmin actually handles the sticks on this release. This is due to the fact that the band have lost their former drummer Mika Luttinen (Impaled Nazarene), while their female keyboard player Heidi Riihinen has also decided to leave her dark brothers. Catamenia's brand of black metal is majestic and melodic, sometimes almost a little pompous. I am one of those who often criticize bands saying that speed is not everything, but in this case I would like to do the opposite. There are plenty of slow atmospheric passages on this album, but they are unfortunately rather boring. The faster tracks, on the other hand, are very well performed. Catamenia may not be the most original band on the planet, but they are still high quality performers of the black arts. Top picks: "Storm", Rain of Blood" and "Landscape".


(article published 3/7/2002)

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