Rock bands evidently don’t care about trademark protection, as no less than ten claim the name “Katharsis.” Three alone, including this one, come from Germany. Perhaps in some alternate universe these bands are competing on a reality show for the right to use the name. This Katharsis would no doubt wipe the floor with its “grunge” and “dark metal” rivals.
Formed in the early ’90s, Katharsis amassed a long discography of demos and splits before releasing two full-lengths, 2000’s 666 and 2003’s Kruzifixxion. Both were variations on early Darkthrone, with buzzing, almost bassless swatches of frosty riffs and raspy shrieks.
On these albums, the band used the occasional delay or reverb on vocals. However, WorldWithoutEnd (on Norma Evangelium Diaboli) goes absolutely nuts with these effects. The results are mixed but generally enjoyable. On one hand, so much reverb clouds up the sound and gets tiring after a while. On the other hand, it adds a maniacal edge to the vocals, and it’s so over-the-top that it’s often amusing. The cymbals in “Wytchdance” manage to cut through the cloud until reverb gradually fills the room with dry ice.
Absurd song titles (“Kross Fyre,” “Ascent from Ghoulgotha”) aside, the packaging is top class, with nicely diabolical reds and blacks. Support the real Katharsis and pick this up at Aquarius or Amazon.