|Review: Barathrum - Fanatiko|
Label: Saturnal Records
Year released: 2017
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: June 25, 2017
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Barathrum, alongside with Beherit, are two essential Black Metal bands that have paved a respectable career and managed to create an amazingly large fuzz around them, both good and bad. While Beherit haven't been that active in the underground Metal scene release-wise, this other horned beast Barathrum just got their ninth full-length album out in April 2017, after 12 years of waiting.
Barathrum were officially supposed to meet their maker on their eighth studio album in 2003, titled Anno Aspera: 2003 Years After Bastard's Birth, which finalized Barathrum's whole album title saga by the letter A; the first letters of each of Barathrum's eight album titles form a clever phrase: "Hail Sova." Well, what does not kill you makes you more vicious and tough beasts, they say.
Fanatiko is actually a good "comeback" album from these diabolic Finnish Black Metal messiahs. Even if the band's line-up has been in slight turmoil over the past 12 years, fortunately Barathrum's music has pretty much stayed the same on Fanatiko. Perhaps this one has gotten a bit more straightforward and faster paced in some of the songs. What's most important on Fanatiko is that Barathrum hasn't abandoned their strongly bass-driven, doomy Black Metal, as that's the thing that has given a special touch to their sound overall from one album to the other. Barathum sound most convincing on such songs as "On the Dark River Bank" and "Spirit of the Damned," which both capture this creepy, eerie atmosphere, reminding us of the true Barathrum sound and why we have felt this Finnish Black Metal combo were so special on their previous albums. Barathrum still know what it takes to write doomy and evil-oozing, twisted Black Metal, the one and only Barathrum way. Also, Fanatiko features the band's first entirely Finnish-sung song, called "Arx Satanas", which sounds like they are conjuring up some demons from the pits of hell or something; a straightforward and stripped-down song that does exactly all that it's supposed to do: to spit enough venom on your face to make you feel sick, metaphorically speaking at least.
Even if Fanatiko cannot really touch some of Barathrum's finest moments on albums like Hailstorm, Eerie, or Legions of Perkele, their latest bastard child is still worth checking out.
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