KATHAARSYS
Progressive Metal / Black Metal • Spain

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The concept of the band Kathaarsys started 2002, it comes from the black abyss where endless hardship dwells, a concept born out of a feeling of disappointment, out of the painful spirit buried in defeat, out of being bound to observe the outcomes of the eternal frustration of our soul.

The band became well known in 2005 when they published their first album “Portrait of Wind and Sorrow”, which has captured the intimate and, so far, lethargic meaning of the group. The reaction to their work has been highly positive all over the countries where it has been distributed (France, U.K. Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Romania, Mexico, USA, Japan and Korea).

It has been mainly in South America where the band has created an incredible expectation, which became plausible in October 2006 with the Mexican publication of their spectacular first record using artwork different from the postmodern trend of Concreto
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Verses in VainVerses in Vain
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Silent Tree Prod. 2008
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Silent Tree Prod. 2009
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Imports 2010
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KATHAARSYS Discography

KATHAARSYS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Portrait of Wind and Sorrow
Black Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Verses in Vain
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anonymous Ballad
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Intuition
Progressive Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rara Vez
Progressive Metal 2012

KATHAARSYS EPs & splits

KATHAARSYS live albums

KATHAARSYS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

KATHAARSYS boxset & compilations

KATHAARSYS singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
...and All My Existence in Vain
Progressive Metal 2007

KATHAARSYS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
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The Concept - Live at Capitol
Progressive Metal 2011

KATHAARSYS Reviews

KATHAARSYS Verses in Vain

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Verses In Vain' - Kathaarsys (7/10)

Kathaarsys is a black metal band never lacking in ambition. Their debut 'Portrait Of Wind And Sorrow' impressed me by their grand take on the melodic soft-heavy approach that fueled Opeth's early work, and their second album 'Verses In Vain' is no pushover either. As a double album clocking in at over eighty minutes with only five songs to split up the time, Kathaarsys are certainly not afraid to be 'epic'. They have created another beautiful adventure with 'Verses In Vain', although there are aspects about this album that may have benefited from the band reining things in a bit.

There are five compositions on this album, ranging from a meager thirteen minutes, to a somewhat longer twenty. They are each musical journeys in themselves, and each of the five could then be broken down into many sub-sections. For all intents and purposes though, the album runs as one long piece of music, with the songs being moreso for the sake of album navigation. With such an lengthy scope to the band's music, it should not come as a surprise that Kathaarsys like to take their time when developing ideas. Much of the music is based around atmospheric chord progressions and a thick black metal style of playing. In the style of a band like Wolves In The Throne Room, Kathaarsys builds these progressions slowly and deliberately, and while the musicianship is not necessarily complex, it creates a wave of sound that sucks the listener in. There are other forces at work here besides black metal, including death-doom (heard in the opening metal passage of 'Doomed In The Black Abyss'), acoustic folk a la Opeth, and even jazz, a style that the band would go full force with on their fourth album, 'Intuition'.

The vocals that accompany the instrumentation (performed here by J.L Montans) are also quite diverse, ranging from deep death grunts, to the higher rasps of black metal, to dramatic clean vocals and even some spoken word. Montans' strength is most definitely in the black metal vocals, and the death growls have really improved this time around. As for the cleans, things are a little inconsistent. On one hand, Montans does prove himself to be a good singer with a strong. dramatic voice. Perhaps its the somewhat weak melodies that the clean vocals are assigned, but on the whole, I found myself fairly unmoved by the cleans here. There is a part in '...And All My Existence In Vain' that particularly comes to mind, where I am not sure if it was either a poorly constructed melody, or Montans falling completely flat on a note, but Kathaarsys does not know how to use clean vocals too well. The spoken word dialogue is fairly weak as well, being practically inaudible, and almost a nuisance to listen through.

The ideas and composition of 'Verses In Vain' is very good, with many of these musical concepts reaching the level of excellence. Undoubtedly the biggest concern I have with the music here however is the way it is all organized. Sure, there are plenty of great moments on the album, but I could easily draw a comparison to a film that has lots of beautiful scenes, but makes little sense in the end. None of these epics stand out from the others, and even many of these ideas- while very good on their own- do not compliment an overall sense of cohesion and composition. The soft-heavy dynamic is here, but there is little buildup of dramatic tension, or even much in the way of climaxes. 'Verses In Vain' is an album that is full of promise and quality ideas, but the way its put together leaves it feeling more underwhelming than it should be.

KATHAARSYS Intuition

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Intuition' - Kathaarsys (5/10)

In progressive metal, the idea of melding jazz into the heavy metal genre has been something that has been dabbled with by many, but few seem to go the extra mile by truly fusing it into their mission statement as a musical entity. Bands like Athiest and Meshuggah represented the first earnest experimentations with jazz in extreme metal, and from then on, a wide variety of metal bands (progressive and otherwise) have made their own attempts at it. From Spain come an extreme metal trio that call themselves Kathaarsys. Certainly one such group that takes the style of jazz to heart, they give a promising vision of guitar-driven jazz and a variety of extreme styles with their fourth studio album, 'Intuition'. Unfortunately however, while the jazz contributions are exciting and professional, the heavier parts of this album feel quite weak in comparison.

Immediately beginning with some rapidfire jazz soloing and a fitting rhythm section, it takes a few minutes into the album for Kathaarsys to even admit they are a metal band. This is all good however, due to the fact that the band is highly skilled with the jazz style. However, the praise starts to wear thinner once the band starts playing the heavier material. Going from smoothly produced free jazz to a very noisy, garage-style of playing sounds incredibly bipolar of the band. In the heavier metal sections, it feels as if the band isn't quite sure what they want to be. Black metal, thrash and speed metal are clustered together as one, but the scattered style feels moreso disorganized than it is eclectic.

The musicianship of the band members is commendable with their jazz work, but horrible production puts a black mark on what may be considered otherwise decent metal chops. Another issue with the performance on the album is that of the vocals themselves. While the growls and snarls of Kathaarsys' extreme metal side are nothing beyond might be expected, the clean vocals- while indeed showing promise- feel very out of place. Sounding like a much less technically proficient version of Rhapsody Of Fire's Fabio Leone (and a host of other power metal singers), the singing is lackluster at best, and is devoid of any particularly interesting or beautiful melodies.

While 'Intuition' has not been any particularly inspiring experience, Kathaarsys shows some good promise here as a jazz ensemble, although their heavier material does leave something to be desired.

KATHAARSYS Portrait of Wind and Sorrow

Album · 2005 · Black Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Portrait Of Wind And Sorrow' - Kathaarsys (7/10)

Although the word of the more recent day has been 'jazz' for Spanish black metal act Kathaarsys, this band originally had quite a different sound. In the same style of bands as Agalloch, Opeth or Drudkh, the early Kathaarsys played an epic and brooding sort of metal, with plenty of acoustics and dynamic change in the songwriting. Although it teeters a little much on the long side, this band's debut, 'Portrait Of Wind And Sorrow' is a very ambitious black metal album that should satisfy anyone who finds themselves attracted to nature-inspired progressive black metal.

Although being comprised of six tracks, each of the songs is over ten minutes long. Suffice to say, 'Portrait Of Wind And Sorrow' is a fairly long album, and most black metal albums would get boring long before a full 65 minutes was over. In the case of Kathaarsys however, they manage to keep their sound interesting more or less throughout. This is accomplished through the use of beautiful melodies, something that all too many of this brand of bands seems to forget. Aside from the soaring black metal melodies, there are also plenty of lighter moments with clean vocals, and although not the most technically accomplished of singers, JJ Montans holds a warm tone to his clean vocals that reminds me somewhat of Mikael Akerfeldt.

The Opeth comparisons don't end there. This reminds me much of that band's debut, 'Orchid'; each of these tracks is a mini-epic of sorts, but the album's greatest weakness is the fact that while each of them are very good, they all sound alike, and lack much individual identity as a result. A little too often in this album, I would get the feeling that I had already heard these ideas or progressions earlier in the album. There is little that is unexpected outside of the melodic death/black metal style that Kathaarsys plays here, but they do what they do very well. Overall, a great debut from this band, and I would readily recommend this to fans of any black metal with melodic, epic, or folkish leanings.

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