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To top Winternight Tragedies, Catamenia would need to take the ideas there and enhance them to reach a momentous plateau unheard of for them - Location: COLD accomplished that feat. The furious, spiteful melodic black metal blended with power metal leads and an up-tempo formula hit the bliss point on Catamenia's most memorable, determined album. Basic structures, sadistic screams, diverse compositions, blitzes of icy riffs, and catchiness are copious.
The rich production did well to lift the band out of their previous damp era. That same production carries over here, but its crystalline edging is improved, providing an even tighter sound than Winternight Tragedies. Every instrument is well-represented with loudness and a more potent bite than ever. The booming bass and assaulting drums have never sounded this aggressive in music that can't even be called very harsh in comparison to death or black metal. Melodic (deathy) black / power metal of this caliber comes with its fair amount of aggression, but the Catamenia of this breed provides more inspiring zeal than hostility.
The band somehow found the proper blend of Kalmah (and a bit of Children Of Bodom) influences and their own conspicuous, sharp vigor to create something undemanding, gripping, and out of their league. Guiding the core instruments are the dually-responsible guitars, blaring tremolo and standard chord frenzies on one hand while being harmonic and catchy on the other (Riku Hopeakoski is at his prime here). The base of blast beats and melodies coated with wintry atmosphere (the primary keyboard duty) and multiple vocal additions couldn't find a better Catamenia album. The main vocalists in particular add to this momentous diversity. The stimulating leads of "Gallery Of Fear," "Coldbound," "Tuhat Vuotta," are matched by the acerbic screams and growls of Haapsamo and Mustonen. These two have shredded up vocals to consistently perform with as much power as they do. The same amount of power is used by Vähäkuopus' lucid, accented, roaring cleans, particularly on "The Day The Sun Faded Away."
If there's any album that defines Catamenia, then this would be it. It's melodic black / death, it's power metal, it's sternly frigid, and it has a W.A.S.P. cover that rules. Running with the theme of the band, it leads the pack by a decent margin and doesn't have anything close to it aside from Winternight Tragedies and the debut. Once they're at the top, there's nowhere else to go but back down, and man did Catamenia fall down hard.
With "Location: COLD", Finnish melodic black metal powerhouse Catamenia continues to create really catchy, outstanding metal. With this release, Catamenia have found the perfect combination of melody, aggression, and hooks. Opener "The Tribe of Eternity" will already make or break this album for you, for each song contains the same elements and feel as this one. Each song has majestic melodic guitars, relentless blastbeats, black metal screams, and shouted and growled backing vocals. That being said, producer Kakke Vä¨¤kuopus lends his stellar clean vocal talent to many tracks, most noticeably on "Coldbound" and the title track.
After the one-two punch of speedy tracks "The Tribe of Eternity" and "Gallery of Fear", Catamenia slows down the tempo for "Coldbound". This track showcases Kakke's clean vocals during the verses while vocalist Olli Mustonen handles the choruses. While being the slowest song on the album, "Coldbound" loses none of the majesty of epic feel that characterizes the album's sound. It is one of the best songs on the album as everything has more room to breathe and gives the listener a break in between really fast songs.
Staying true to their heritage, Catamenia unleashes the all Finnish sung fourth track "Tuhat Vuotta" upon the listener. This is my personal favorite song, and opens with one of my favorite guitar parts of all time. The song is relentless in its bitterly cold melodic tremolo picking and blastbeat fury. After three minutes of blasting mayhem, Catamenia let up on the gas just enough for the listener recover from head banging, and then bombard the listener with more speed until the end. It is the perfect melodic black metal song.
The remainder of "Location: COLD" follows in the same suit with blasting drums, melodic tremolo-picked guitars, black metal screams, and clean vocals. The title track is a really strong song that stands out along with "Tuhat Vuotta" and "Coldbound". "The Day When the Sun Faded Away" is the slowest song on the second half of the album, and is similar to "Coldbound". "Expect No Mercy", just like "Tuhat Voutta", is one hell of a speed fest, closing out the albums' original material with an icy bang. W.A.S.P. then gets a Finnish black metal makeover when Catamenia put a cover of "I Wanna Be Somebody" onto the end of the album.
You should look into this album if you like a bunch of melody, speed, aggression, and catchy as hell songwriting mashed together in one album.
Catamenia play melodic black metal. And you can start by underlining each of those words. This is a band that grew up listening to the godfathers of black metal because something about the intensity grabbed them. But the whole satanic claptrap didn’t make quite the same impression. So instead you get brutality without the banality. And in ‘Location: Cold” you get this band’s total masterpiece.
The album opener is “Tribes of Eternity”, and the first thing you notice is that this sounds like black metal taking over someone else’s racket. In this case there are shades of Viking metal. You get marching melody meets blastbeats meets razor sharp shredding. And did I mention it’s catchy?
But don’t let that fool you people, Catamenia DO NOT play hybrid metal. What we’re talking about is a level of songwriting maturity that can absorb without selling out a single black metal note. “Gallery of Fear” and “Coldbound” are extreme from start to finish, but in between you’re pinned to the wall and made to listen to what sounds like power metal chords being played very, very fast in a very, very cold place.
“Closed Gates of Hope” is the song Dimmu Borgur wishes they’d written, and the one Cradle of Filth would pay hard cash for. It’s angry, defiant, bitter and unforgiving. It’s also symphonic without an orchestra in sight. And since when did a couple of guys doing back-up vocals sound like a military choir just before the battle?
But the title track is the absolute standout on an album without a single filler. Catamenia have toyed with clean vocals before, but this is the moment they make history. Having made a decision to include a clean vocalist in their line-up, they come up with this consecutive-life-sentence killer of a song that instantly becomes their new signature tune. This one is the worst storm in memory let loose on a band being told it’s the last time they see their instruments alive. Think fast, think shredding, think pounding, and then think shrieks and screams at the same time. I’m going to stop there. Or to put it another way, think black, and then think again.
This album basically continues the trend set on Winternight Tragedies and actually sounds very similar. The production, vocals, and melodies all have the same sound. It is still good but sometimes I almost think I'm still listening to Winternight Tragedies. This isn't necessarily a negative thing, but a bit more change wouldn't have hurt. Also, this album definitely doesn't have that many catchy and really oustanding songs as on previous albums.
The album starts off with a terrific opener, "The Tribe of Eternity", and this is probably the best song on the album. It is fast, melodic, and agressive. The vocals are harsh and strong, and the production isn't that great, which is a good thing here, as it gives an even more angry and chaotic feeling. Some other great songs include "Gallery of Fear", which is another relatively fast and agressive song with some great drumming, "The Day When The Sun Faded Away", which has an amazing main riff that sounds very angry and the music is way louder than the agressive vocals which makes it sound as if the vocalist is in great agony and trying to plead with some superior force, and "Expect No Mercy" which is just agressive and sounds almost heavy like with the exception of the usual Catamenia production.
"Coldbound" isn't one of the best songs on the album, but it is still good and it is a different song compared to others on this album. It is slower paced, and it has clean vocals although they are still loud and have a lot of strength in them. "Tuhat Vuotta" is a decent song, but this one really did belong on "Winternight Tragedies". It sounds like a blend of the main riffs in most of the songs on the previous album.
The W.A.S.P. cover is a decent one. I don't know the actual song, but the cover sounds pretty good with the exception of the lyrics which really don't fit in with the rest of the Catamenia stuff.
Overall this is a decent album, although sounds a bit too much like "Winternight Tragedies". A good thing though is that on here the production is much louder and rawer which makes the album sound much more agressive which is a good thing. The production reminded me of the production on Norther's "Death Unlimited" although thats not to say that this album is a copycat of Norther's because its not. Overall good, I just guess I was expecting a little more.
Location:Cold? A really strange name for an album. But regard the name for the album, people this is one of the best releases ever.
Location:Cold represents the most mature work from Catamenia. Think all of their albums combined and you will get Location:Cold. Now starting with opening song “Tribe Of Eternity” on which you can already feel influences of the earlier releases and clean vocals stayed from newer works. Then there are songs like “Gallery Of Fear” and “Expect No Mercy” which remind me on “Morning Crimson” period. Considering the guitar riffs they are most melodically done that ever before. Also Catamenia used more blastbeast that fit perfectly with songs. Vocals mostly stayed the same and there are lot more clean vocals. There are more power metal elements on songs “Location:Cold”, which by the way is definitely the best on whole album (and that’s probably the reason why they named the album this way”, and song “A day when sun faded away”. Also there are more keyboard passages than on last two albums.
The word that describes this album is phenomenal! All those who still didn’t get the album, I recommend that they get it for this is one of the best releases in 2006.