without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Catamenia's sophomore album continues to have all of the elements present in their debut; mid-paced songs, high-pitched and raw vocals, melodic parts and irregular song structures.
Catamenia has been around for quite a long time, since 1995 and have a plethora of freezing albums available for the listener. One of the best things the album has to offer are the very enjoyable transitions from harsh and raw into melodic parts on the songs. These melodic parts aided by the majestic keyboard arrangements which are complimented by the rest of the instruments. The bass is very audible throughout the album and is effectively combined with the soft parts of songs and intros.
For most songs, the verses are mainly dominated by the raw vocals, which fit the music quite nicely. The atmosphere is very similar to the previous album; chilling and desolate. The drums compliment these verses for the most part and move to a minor role for the softer parts in which the keyboards play. The songs change pace quite often and unpredictably throughout.
"Morning Crimson" is very similar to Catamenia's previous and following album. If the listener enjoyed the experience with this record, there is a very high chance that "Halls of Frozen North" and "Eternal Winter's Prophecy" will be enjoyed just as much, due to the various similarities between them. One of the downsides this album processes is failing to significantly differentiate from the previous albums, however one might enjoy a particular one due to preference. Despite this, "Morning Crimson" is one of the strongest releases by the band's discography, as well as a solid record in melodic black metal.
While most songs have at least something interesting to give to the album, wether it is a unique keyboard arrangement or song structure, there are still various songs that are heavier in nature that are both uninteresting and bland. "Winternacht" is an example of this, it feels boring and heavy just for the sake of it. Other songs like "Aurora Borealis" are the complete opposite, including all of the elements presented in one of the best possible ways. "Passing Moment of Twilight Time" shows some of the best tempo variations while still being one of the heavier songs. "The Forests of Tomorrow" is another must-listen in the album. It has one of the most interesting keyboard arrangements playing in the background and even gets its own time to shine for a few seconds. Aside from this, the song is very similar to the rest of the album, but definitely above average.
While not quite as raw as "Halls of Frozen North", it is still very high quality compared to it. This album, however, has a small shift towards melody. However, it is until the next album "Eternal Winter's Prophecy" that the band reflects this sound a lot more.
Originally written for sputnikmusic
I don’t know why I find it so difficult to consider these guys black metal (or some form thereof). It may be that I’m still used to seeing their cover arts and the lack of corpsepaint in recent photos to hold such an opinion, even though I know their image shouldn’t mean that much. With these early albums it’s easier to identify this as (melodic) black metal, but later albums really border more melodic death / power metal.
Anyway, Morning Crimson follows the debut with very little change in sound. This doesn’t make for a lackluster follow-up, but I’d say that the band abuses their formula to the point where it all starts to sound incredibly redundant. Production for the band has been pretty supportive, with very little issues typically plaguing black metal such as distortion, sloppiness, and improper balance hardly showing signs in Catamenia’s territory. Luckily, all the songs are very short compared to its genre peers (no track exceeds four minutes), but thirteen still is a hard number of tracks to overcome before the album becomes monotonous.
The entire album gives off this icy, dark, and secluded atmosphere, regardless of how many wolves you keep in the house or the current season. The main contributor to this, undoubtedly, is the keyboard – the portion of the music that not only sounds enchanting and beautiful, but chilly as well. Most of the time it plays a background role in adding to the increasingly wintry atmosphere, but other times it’ll play roles in solos and escorting the riffs in a melody duet. They don’t sound gimmicky or fake, but natural and very fitting to the style without going overboard.
Aside from the keys, the music is pretty blistering everywhere else. Drumming is incredibly barbaric with its Immortal-style of galloping double bass and ballistic tom / cymbal patterns, all sounding thick like ice cream and easy on the ears. The riffs themselves are tremolo most of the time, always melodic or deafening and thrashy like its coming from Infernus of Gorgoroth. It helps that the bass can actually be heard grumbling right beside it, filling the gaps and allowing for the tone to sound freezing, but not like a blizzard where everything is a mess. It’s that sort of soothing cold where you don’t mind be out in the open embracing the chilly air.
Vocally, it’s mutilated screams that pierce the ice your standing on. They’re pretty tortured and remind me of Pest from Gorgoroth and Kokko from Kalmah. They help add to the music’s more raw nature, making sure that nothing becomes too tame for listeners and doing something that Limbonic Art couldn’t do (in my opinion) – cater to both symphonic and black metal fans. This isn’t an essential piece for Catamenia fans as it just shadows the debut (unless you wish to have every one of their albums).
The title of my review pretty much sums up my feelings towards this album. Although it is far from terrible, as it’s not THAT bad, it’s still quite far from good.
Absolutely everything about this album, down to the lyrics and cover art, is mediocre. I have a feeling Catamenia weren’t A students in their English classes in school, as the lyrics definitely come across a lot of times as either grammatically incorrect or just plain nonsensical, and on top of that pretty cheesy when a coherent idea or image expressed in the lyrics is actually communicated. To their credit, however, I applaud them on their attempt to use English instead of their native Finnish to express themselves lyrically; English is obviously a second language for these guys and it was a worthy attempt.
As far as the actual music was concerned, I don’t recall in the few times I listened to this album in it’s entirety ever discovering an interesting or appealing riff, although that’s not to say that there were a lot of bad riffs or melodies on the album. Also, the production quality on this album is actually pretty decent, it’s just too bad that it almost goes to a waste on a band that is seemingly devoid of any new or fresh ideas. Although the synth player seems to be trying out new effects and styles, everyone else in the band is pretty boring when it comes down to mixing it up. Furthermore, despite both the guitar and bass lines being pretty bland, the true weak points lie in the vocalist and the drummer. Mika Tonning brings almost nothing to the table as far as originality or creativity , not to mention variety! However, it’s important to note that he’s still not necessarily a bad vocalist, just a boring one. And don’t get me startes on the drummer. Although I would argue that Toni Tervo is, like almost the rest of the band, not a terrible musician, he just contributes absolutely nothing cool or interesting to the album. On top of that, I simply disliked the choices he made on the album of nonstop double bass, boring fills, and some of the slowest blast beats I’ve ever heard in my life. I usually figure that blast beats are used to ratchet up the intensity, but here I just find Tervo’s blasts pretty annoying, and they definitely do not take the songs to the next level when needed.
I would probably say this point “Morning Crimson” is both a step forward and a step back for Catamenia. Although the production is better than the previous album, “Halls of Frozen North,” and the synth sound is beginning to sound more varied, at the same time I feel that the songs on this album were not as good as the songs on the previous album (which I guess isn’t saying a whole lot as the songs on the previous album weren’t that great to begin with anyway!).
Catamenia’s heart seems to be in the right place- the energy is there, but the musicianship and the music just needs to be taken up in quality a few levels before the band can truly unlock their full potential to create some killer melodic BM.
Ok. This is NOT a Dimmu Borgir clone, definitely not.
All you will find here is a awesome piece of nordic Black Metal: fast, epic and melodic with a great vocal work by Mika Tönning and a great keyboard background.
I think every fan of epic Black Metal would like that album, it's full of beautiful tunes where melody and aggressivity walk hand by hand. The first songs are surely the better ones: "Aurora Borealis", the fast and wintry "Talviyön Varjot" and the melancholical "...And Winter Descends" are some of the highest moments of the whole album. But there are still some quite songs like "Cast The Stars Beyond" or "Towards The Shores Of Winter". These guys try to use dark atmospheres instead of the usual brutal stuff and the result is a gloomy and heartcold album, still epic and not so common. Lyrically most of the songs talk about the winter and all its esthereotypes but they manage to build some good stuff anyway.
The worst point is maybe the production. Drums have a really bad sound and sometimes its hard to distinguish the instruments, but sadly that's something we Black Metal fans are used to, aren't we?
Do we need Dimmu Borgir? Do we need clones of Dimmu Borgir? Do we need more clones of Dimmu Borgir? Catamenia seems to think so. Morning Crimson is almost a straight up copy of Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. The music is of course keyboard laden "extreme" metal with screechy vocals.
So when the bands rips off the likes of Dimmu Borgir, who aren't very respect-worthy in the original section as it is, there isn't really much to talk about the music. Suffice to say that it is very derivative, unoriginal and uninspiring. The vocalist is your basic screecher with nothing going for him. The guitars do form a fairly solid base but with the vocalist being the lackluster he is and the keyboardist noodling around without coming up with anything interesting, it just isn't enough.
The band has written very insipid lyrics in three different languages all managing to sound cheesy and "I've heard this before"y. Plus their "corpse"paints are just ridiculous. This album has nothing going for it. My recommendation is to stay the fuck away.