Greetings my fellow old-school metal addicted brethren. I am proud to say Lizards & Beans is back for real this time, and what I have for you here is a very special LP from an underrated act hailing from Lithuania, the mighty Katedra.
Maybe it's the location? I'm not quite sure, but for some reason this band seems to be highly overlooked, which is odd considering how fucking awesome their debut album is, Mors Ultima Ratio. Their second outing is supposedly just as good, though I have yet to hear it. Anyway, what we have here is a very exciting blend of traditional heavy metal, 80's power metal with plenty of progressive elements, fantastic riffing and song composition, melodic chops, tight musicianship, and an atmosphere that, when it comes to comparisons, leaves me at a loss for words.
This truly is an incredible album. The vocals are soaring and powerful, and are definitely one of the album's most notable traits. They are sung in their native Lithuanian tongue, which, to me, always gives albums a more majestic feel (partly why I love all those great Czech bands so much). The vocalist also seems to be keen on what I call the "King Diamond" effect, which consists of more than one vocal track going at once, one maybe doing a falsetto scream and the other bellowing in a lower voice, but always with great conviction, or maybe two falsettos during a nice harmony with no lyrics. The guitars never seem to run out of steam, as they just seamlessly pump out riff after riff of non-stop melodic-yet-pummeling riff fests with some very impressive lead work and dual-harmonies. The drumming is tight and far from redundant, with some great tom use during the bridge and soloing sections.
If you dig classic, swords-n-steel, skullfucking METAL, there is no way you won't like this.