Metal Review: Tortorum: Katabasis (2014)

Tortorum KatabasisSlated for a March 8, 2014 release date through W.T.C. Productions, Norway’s black metal outfit Tortorum will be back with their sophomore release, “Katabasis.” Tortorum arranged a very nice debut effort, “Extinctionist,” in 2012, so their follow-up with be highly anticipated and scrutinized by black metal fans. “Katabasis” will wash any worries away after listening to the first few songs.

With nine songs varying in length from 5 to 10 minutes each with the majority falling in the 5 to 6 minute range, Tortorum offers plenty for the listener to get excited about. Whether you listen to melodic tales such as Severance and Perseverance, Open Wide the Gates of Chaos and Attributions to the Dead or if you prefer the dark, evil sounds of songs like In Nameless NonBeing and As the Light Falls to Slaughter with its addicting final 2 minutes, you are sure to find plenty to enjoy about their latest effort.

“Katabasis” opens with Descensus, which gets right down to business and shows the progressive evolution of the band in the last two years. Its neoclassical-inspired piano introduction is the perfect setup for the remainder of the album. Once The Great Appetence begins, the icy black metal riffs that we are longing for are thrown at the listener.

While the album’s tracks are distinct with their twists and turns, the one constant is the great interplay between guitarists Skyggen and Specter and the way that they play off of each other. The other constant is the strong vocals from The Barghest, whether they be screams or shrieks of terror, they are always well done and well placed.

“Katabasis” is a wonderfull return for Tortorum and for the entire black metal genre. With heavy influences from classic black metal bands such as Mayhem and Darkthrone scattered throughout their sound, Tortorum is a band that needs to be part of your playlist.

Katabasis Tracklisting:
1. Descensus
2. The Great Appetence
3. In Nameless NonBeing
4. Severance and Perseverance
5. As the Light Falls to Slaughter
6. Into the Sixth Coil
7. Open Wide the Gates of Chaos
8. Attributions to the Dead
9. Beyond the Earth and Air and Sun

Tortorum Line-up:
The Barghest – Bass, Vocals
Skyggen – Guitars
Specter – Guitars
Erik – Drums

Record Label: W.T.C. Productions