Kataxu
Hunger of Elements


5.0
classic

Review

by A.K. USER (66 Reviews)
July 11th, 2009 | 97 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stirring arrangements make this album a "must hear".

Kataxu, fronted by Piaty who works most of the instruments as well as handling most song writing, had already put out a very solid bit of black metal with Roots Thunder. The follow up, Hunger Of Elements, puts a bigger emphasis on symphonics rather than folk aesthetics. The fact that three keyboardists are on the release, as well as one of them handling solely keyboard arrangements/orchestration, should give an idea of the scope of how keyboard dominated this album is. That is not to say aggression is not an active element in the release, for it is and it blends extremely well with the orchestral elements.

Without a doubt, the opener In My Dungeon! is one of the, if not the, quintessential symphonic black metal piece. The song sets the stage for what the rest of the CD contains. Elaborate arrangements, long building sections, sudden changes, and an overall "astral" atmosphere. The song builds of a slow clean guitar intro into a up tempo energetic vocal section. The vocal sections often phrase lines very interestingly (if you bother following the lyrics), and (important!) repetition is never apparent in the release. Yes, there are three songs over ten minutes on this release, and I challenge you to pick out a verse/chorus/bridge structure in any of them. Often riffs are not recycled, and the songs still maintain a purpose and direction as sections flow smoothly into one another.

The production is also stellar, guitars are very akin to a band like Summoning, rarely coming to the forefront to provide a leading role, but rather add an element into the wall of sound that the choirs and strings create. An element of harshness to accompany the vocals is created by them. If you do play close enough attention to decipher what they are playing you will often by surprised by what they are playing, a tribute to how extremely well the album is arranged (probably one of the best jobs in the entire genre). Drums are clear and do not annoy with any clangy cymbal sounds or high pitched snare. Only thing I miss in the mix is the bass, which probably adds even another level of depth in the arrangement.

The album also has three songs (the shorter ones) that are instrumental and feature only keyboard. The compositions are frankly very stirring, especially the end of NightSky, and while not complex they are certainly a good interlude in-between the longer metal compositions. Essentially the three instrumental songs are what you would get if you isolated the the keyboards in the longer main compositions. In the vocal department Kataxu also has a fairly unique approach, using vocals lower (but by no means guttural) than most black metal shrieks. As mentioned earlier the phrasing of the vocals are fairly interesting and provide some counterpoint to everything else going on.

One of the more musically complex offerings of the genre, all I can say is do yourself a favor and pick this one up, regardless of your musical background.



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user ratings (74)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
BirthRite (4)
bm for fags and wannabe's, i bet even hyp doesn't like this, its good for newcomers but stop overrat...

recommended by reviewer
Emperor In The Nightside Eclipse

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
July 11th 2009


44800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uhhhh.. I remember a review previously. Crash? I take it. Good review, and solid album.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Silenius
July 11th 2009


305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have never reviewed this album for this site, there was a previous one, but there were copyright problems with it.

BallsToTheWall
July 11th 2009


44800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's another black metal user I get mixed up with you who reviewed it I believe. But huh, copyright eh, well, good to see it back. Maybe more people will check it out this time around.

Saidir
July 11th 2009


77 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album so much. Good review, but I may do one myself. You're right about Nightsky though. That ambient piece is better than even Ildjarn's Hardangervidda 'Blissful Mountain View'.
The first couple of times I heard the opening cackles on In My Dungeon I looked over my shoulder.

Lunarfall
July 12th 2009


3179 Comments


how elite is this album, on a scale of mainstream to varg?

FistfulOfSteel
July 12th 2009


894 Comments


i remember hearing at one point the this was NSBM? idk. but i have this dl'ed and will listen in the next day or so.

Infernis
July 12th 2009


398 Comments


It is NSBM, I'm pretty sure. Unless that changed..

Silenius
July 12th 2009


305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not NSBM, the members certainly are but this album has absolutely no NS tendencies in the lyrics (not that it matters anyway).

How elite is the album? ... -_-

Infernis
July 12th 2009


398 Comments


Oh, I guess the album isn't, but I knew the band was or something was. It's a great album though...gave it multiple listens a while back and still enjoy it.

Silenius
July 12th 2009


305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, some of the members are also in Swastyka, which is definitely NSBM.

OllieS
July 12th 2009


2036 Comments


I will have to listen to this

Zoo
July 12th 2009


3759 Comments


I've tried so many times to get into this album over the past year and a half or so and it still doesn't click.

ThusSpokeZarathustra
July 12th 2009


293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Although I'm usually not a big fan of bm albums which place so much emphasis on the symphonic element I do enjoy this.
And Swastyka changed their name to Sunwheel. Their EP's also rich with keyboards but doesn't even manage to create half the emotion or atmosphere.

Wizard
July 12th 2009


19612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

all I can say is do yourself a favor and pick this one up, regardless of your musical background.

YES SIR. I saw you recommended to this to lovers of In the Nightside Eclipse; I'm all over this. Great review too. I don't see you around too much, so that means stick around more often!

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

Wizard
July 15th 2009


19612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is kind of like Emperor Version 2.0.

BallsToTheWall
July 15th 2009


44800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont know about that.

Wizard
July 15th 2009


19612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The three songs on their myspace page were pretty Emperor inspired. Doesn't mean it's bad though. I did just order this if that's any indication?

BallsToTheWall
July 15th 2009


44800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Noble Karl... How do you manage to contain all your CD's ina stable manner? Mine are mostly filled in every crevice of my room minus the three cases.

Wizard
July 15th 2009


19612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Noble Karl... How do you manage to contain all your CD's ina stable manner? Mine are mostly filled in every crevice of my room minus the three cases.

I had to recently spend $180 ($150 American) in shelfing to contain my surge in album collecting. I'm at critical mass right now...she just can't take it any more.

twiik
July 31st 2009


30 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Just lie down in some grass on a clear night and look at the stars listening to this. Trust me, it's just perfect.



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