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Nope. Sorry. - 30%

doomknocker, May 28th, 2010

Melodic metal from Finland…can’t say I’d ever heard THAT concept before. But before I get all snarky and piss-headed I have to say that there’s nothing wrong with the Finnish take on the style (for the most part), as the likes of KALMAH, ENSIFERUM and WINTERSUN are able to project the melodic sound into something that’s so damned good you really have to wonder what’s in the water in that country. Catchiness, brutality, and an ass-load of staying power has been the order of the day with those groups, and when it came down to checking out yet another group of their ilk I took to this like a duck to bread.

So how do things work in the CATAMENIA world? Let’s find out…

The way things look, at least on my end, the sound has that twinge of Finnish-ness about it, but the overall approach is rather plodding and unmemorable. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a definitive lack of hooks, interestingness, and anything in between that would make for a fanciful listen. Instead, this listener ended up partaking in mid-tempo “rockers” that relied mostly on simplistic, chunky riffs, one-two punch drum work (with only a few flashes of black-beaty goodness), only a dash of melody and some rather confused-sounding vocal work (the guy doesn’t seem to know if he wants to sing, rasp, or growl) that all come together in a way that’s better than your local bar band in terms of ability, but not by much. There are many things that would be of beneficence to this group; up the tempo into something more interesting, find that necessary hook to get the listeners’ attention, and just try your best to make the whole damned thing MEMORABLE, removing that compelling need to skip to the next track halfway through (which happened on my end more than once). I’m sure there’s a fan base for this sort of thing (hell, there’s a fan base for EVERYTHING in this world…), but I’d have to say that I wouldn’t be considered one of its newest converts, as the likes of “Cavalcade”, “Silence”, and “Quantity of Sadness” aren’t able to provide the musical necessities as brightly as it should’ve. Oh well.

In the end I can’t say I liked the latest CATAMENIA. While there are a few good ideas to work with, the morass of mediocrity is a little too thick to cut through. Best left to those who’ve followed them from the get-go, but for the rest of us, there’re better acts to enjoy.