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Review: Various Artists - Cult Of Catharsis/Opus Forgotten Split CD
Various Artists
Cult Of Catharsis/Opus Forgotten Split CD

Label: Aftermath Music
Year released: 2004
Duration: 60:32
Tracks: 12
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: March 26, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Cult Of Catharsis/Opus Forgotten Split CD

Rated 1/5 (20%) (1 Vote)

This is that long-hallowed tradition in Black Metal – the split CD. Opus Forgotten have never before released anything official, and Cult Of Catharsis have not only never released anything before this – they don't even exist anymore. Talk about kvlt. Anyway, both of these bands are pretty damned cool, and this entire disc is filled with some pretty damned good Black Metal.

Both of these bands are about equally good, and they both have flaws. Actually, they both have the flaw of not trusting their metal enough. Cult Of Catharsis are the more melodic band, with a more midpaced, epic style that is definitely influenced by Bathory. They have some cool riffs, and some good melodies, but they tend to let the keys carry too much of the music, and if there's one thing I have learned from listening to metal, it's that 99% of the time, if you took the keys away and let the guitars play their parts, it would sound twice as good. So Cult Of Catharsis are (or were) good, but they don't break any new ground here, or do anything to really make them stand out.

Opus Forgotten have more potential, as they are much heavier and thrashier (and, of course, are still a viable band.) They have a very brutal sound with very little keyboard junk added, and they are obviously trying to do something different by having a violinist as an actual member of the band. Now I applaud any attempt to widen the sound of the genre a bit, and some bands have added strings successfully without it sounding silly (Saruman most notably), but I have to say that here it doesn't really work. The recording on the violin itself is weak, so that even though it isn't a keyboard, it sounds like one, and having it play anemic repetitions of the riffs which sounded better on the guitars is just kind of annoying. Some places it sounds OK, but never really more than that. Good thing the heavy-ass thrash-flavored riffs make up for the twittering violin sounds. Good try, but no.

So this is a good split, with one band that is pretty good but is already history, and another band that definitely shows signs of future coolness. While this is not quite on the level of other fine Aftermath releases (Fallen, Runemagick), it is worth a look.

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