Monday, March 19, 2012

"Strength Within by CATALEPTIC

The scene in Finland is so active lately, that I feel it's been abnormally a long time since I reviewed some finnish stuff for the last time, about two weeks and a half or ... ?!!!
CATALEPTIC formed in 2003 and released this debut album "Strength Within" last December, that surely means they really took their time to work and personalize their style and identity...
I was curious to listen this, after the guys mentioned comparisons to  KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST or M.D.B. in the mail they sent me; great references but often a style that sounds a bit outdated (at least to my ears) when displayed by a young band, more than twenty years after the birth of this  famous deviance of death metal that has been variously called death/doom or doom/Death depending of the bands and/or fans interpretations.
This "Strenght Within" didn't dissapoint me, in the sense that atmospheres are great, crushing and melancholic, enhanced by catchy melodies and an emphasis on heavy and slow tempos. Those references previously mentioned are certainly all true for a great part, we could even add some TIAMAT for some beautiful melodies  but nothing is plagiarized, even if the style doesn't let place to much surpise and innovation...
While vocals are maybe sometimes too typical death-grunts, they take a deeper dimension when the tempo tends to be more mid-paced, which is sadly too rare at least in the longest songs... Indeed, if the album lasts about 50 minutes with just 5 songs, that means we've got here 3 songs from 10 to 15 minutes and without being boring at all, I feel these songs are too long and lack of variations in the moods and tempos.... If they were just 7 or 8 minutes long, that would be perfect !
I think the best songs are "Will of Mind" and "Reckoning", the shortest, those have tightly all ingredients in terms of power, harmonies and crushingness; very consistent and convincing, they  show that CATALEPTIC has an obvious potential, but still needs a bit more time to definitely impose themselves to a wider audience than just the most addicted Doom/Death afficionados !

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