Originally written by Kris Yancey
The band’s from Norway, the album’s in black and white, they’re covered in corpsepaint, sing about cold winds and blasphemy, and they have the word “Throne” in the fucking name. Who the hell do you think they sound like?
Elaborate (i.e. padded) review:
“I have always believed that it’s important to show a new look periodically. Predictability can lead to failure.” – T. Boone Pickens
With that statement in mind, it is hard to perceive an album like Helvete as little more than an outright failure. This gruesome twosome have sunk deep into black metal’s golden years with intent to rewrite some of their greatest albums on this, their second album. But for as much of the nectar they’ve suckled from Darkthrone’s tit, Throne of Katarsis are a passable affair in the grimmest of metal sub-genres, and definitely worth your time if Under a Funeral Moon hasn’t left your turntable for more than a week.
Why? Because Helvete is more like a tribute album than an original album.
Throne of Katarsis have embarked on a journey of subservience to (and utter obfuscation by) the earliest “true” black metal bands. Helvete’s actually pretty impressive considering its status as imitation, ranging from the impressive Attila impression on “Lysets Endeligt,” the barbaric, chaffing guitars ala Blaze in the Northern Sky on “Winds of Blasphemy,” and mountain-hearting Immortal riffs in closing piece “Summoning the Hordes.” I have but one gripe to give this album, and that is its uninhibited unoriginality.
“But hey, lots of bands are unoriginal, right? That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad bands.”
Sure, that’s true. And Throne of Katarsis isn’t a bad band. They’re actually very capable musicians. Their composition skills are adequate (if, indeed, their songs end up being a little too long for what they have to offer). I’ll bet they do cool shit like hang out in the woods and take pictures of themselves in the dark too. And as much shit as I’ll talk about Throne of Katarsis, there is a demographic to which this will instantly appeal. You know who you are. Come and get it. For the rest of us, I don’t know what to tell you. The average metalhead is likely to enjoy this album just as much as another is likely to hate it. A middlin’ album if ever I heard one.