Treatise On the Abyss

Eschewing the expected ‘Louisiana’ metal sound, Baton Rouge’s long running Black/death metal act Catholicon deliver only their third full length album in their long but rather obscure career, and despite it’s unusual approach, it’s destined to be as unrecognized as their previous offerings.

On the surface, Catholicon’s mix of muddy, murky Satanic death metal and vocals mixed with black metal shrieks and a heavy dose of ‘epic’ black metal synths (think Bal-Sagoth’s A Black Moon Bloods over Lemuria) seems promising, but in execution, the death metal is muddled and forgetful and the synths are reedy and overly synthetic and thusly the blend never quite works.

Within the album’s 13 track, over drawn 47 minute duration, there’s really not a lot that got my attention above the slightly intriguing mix of styles; the riffs are simply loosely strung together blast beats and slower murkier lopes and the synths seem to be randomly thrown together in the background often resulting in a pretty incoherent mess. The times when it does come together such as “Legion of One”, maybe “Enemies of The Faith” and “God of the Cross” or the more settled “Battle Hymn 666” are still relatively unconvincing other than their general disdain for all things Christianity related.

Despite a fleeting interest due to their unusual style, Catholicon are ultimately pretty disappointing as the music itself ends up being 47 minutes of chaotic synth backed filler rather than a coherent, structured album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 26th, 2007


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