Catamenia - ChaosBorn

10 songs
46:11 minutes
***** ****


When I received this CD, I thought that I had already got it last year, but as it turned out, these Finnish black metal guys always use the motif of wolf and snow on their cover artwork. Chaosborn is already Catamenia's fifth album, released only 13 months after the previous release Eskhaton. Another curiosity is the fact that all of their albums have been released on Massacre Records. Such loyalty to a label doesn't happen too often these days.

Chaosborn is, as expected, a very professional piece of black metal, the kind you would make your sister listen to, if you happen to have one. This means that there's plenty of melodies to appease also metalheads who are more into the traditional sub-genres. Where many bands would overdo the use of keyboards, Catamenia use them only to create atmospheres, and the music is still moderately aggressive. The vocals are most of the time your typical (but well done) shriek attacks, but the music has a somewhat warmer feeling (no offence intended, really) than you have in your average underground black metal production. With Lost In Bitterness, Catamenia even have a totally memorable song with cleaner vocals, although that doesn't mean that the rest would be weak. At first listening, it's melodic and nice, but the more time you invest into ChaosBorn, the more subtleties you will detect. The instrumentation is at a criminally high level, the songs are well thoroughly worked through, and the melodies never take anything out of the brutality, probably because of the really great production that sounds - as I mentioned before - warmer than normal black metal.

I am not that familiar with Catamenia's past, but this album should appeal to most black metal fans out there. OK, it's not sounding raw and underground anymore, but the perfection of the style shows that there's always some nice surprised available. 9 points.

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