Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Single Review: KATHAROS XIII "Caloian Voices" by Dave Wolff

Location: Timișoara
Country: Romania
Genre: Dark jazz, doom metal, black metal
Single: Caloian Voices
From their upcoming full length “Palindrome” to be released on Loud Rage Music autumn 2019
Release date: July 9, 2019
With “Caloian Voices” this Romanian band has a persuasive ability to immerse you in their world of shadows. Selecting it as the advance single of “Palindrome” required some thought, as the five songs recorded for the album were arranged to flow one to the next. Choosing a fourteen-minute track may be considered a gamble if you prefer something more traditional, but Katharos XIII chose it without concern for releasing something much shorter. They do bother to mention it takes a patient, receptive mind to appreciate its unworldly mélange of dreamlike sounds, and offer no explanation about the direction their new album is taking. Any further explanation is not needed as the song speaks for itself. If you have the longanimity to pay attention to everything that’s going on, and the capacity to make sense of the band’s statement, your mind’s eye will perceive the song coming to breathing life. You might at first see it as an immense ocean in darkness, or the far-reaching cosmos, or something else altogether. But it will be surprising how you feel your surroundings. It starts with a haunting, ethereal mood, accompanied by saxophone that expands the vastness that is put across. Manuela Marchis’ vocals enter the picture like the voice of a siren; unsubstantial yet exquisitely celestial, and purely bewitching. The entire mood changes with abrupt, unexpected suddenness, becoming more hypnotic as F.’s vocals are a counterpoint to Marchis’ siren-like voice. The mood changes back with Marchis, and soon “Caloian Voices” begins to sound like an exchange between two main characters of an epic story. An epic story in which the reader sails the ether from one soundscape to another. Katharos XIII are heavily into writing lyrics about misanthropy and mortality, and there is more than enough of both here. The lyrics are minimal considering the song’s length, comprised of three verses, but this is all that’s needed to convey the loneliness and despair. You should read along to get a complete picture, especially if you’re a reader of Poe and a viewer of Goya. Again this is just one song; there are four others besides it to experience when “Palindrome” is made available this fall. -Dave Wolff

Manuela Marchis: vocals
F.: guitars, keyboards, vocals
Alex Iovan: saxophone
Hanos-Puskai Péter: bass
Sabat: drums

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