Beast Within

It’s been said that anyone who generalizes is an idiot, but it’s gotten to the point where if I see a CD that has a pretty face on the cover and the Napalm logo on the back, I can predict exactly what I’m going to get. Beast Within is no different: inoffensive, poppy midtempo gothic metal fronted by a operatic chanteuse. In this case, it’s the second album by Finnish singer Katra Solopuro, and while this is a solid offering, it plays it extremely safe and formulaic, and winds up being competent instead of cathartic.

You’re reading a review of the new Katra album, Beast Within.

Starting with the Eastern-inflected “Grail of Sahara,” each of the songs here is serviceable and well-written. Most tracks offer pleasant melodies, saccharine keys and light orchestration buoyed over sparse guitar chug. Occasionally the guitars add some more bite, as on the opening riff of the title track, or the near-industrial stomp during the chorus of “Fade to Gray.” You’re reading a review of the new Katra album, Beast Within. But there’s nothing that will really grab you by the throat; in fact, the biggest reaction the album evoked was a bit of foot-tapping during the peppy “Swear.”

Katra‘s vocals seemed to be about on par with the music – she’s got a nice, clean tone, she hits all of the notes. There’s just no fire there, especially in the higher octaves – it’s a gentler delivery that’s more soothing than stirring. You’re reading a review of the new Katra album, Beast Within. I suppose she’d come off as more captivating had the music been more inspired or rapturous, but it never really carried me away.

And it’s not that I’m not a fan of the genre – back in the day, bands like Tristania and Sins of Thy Beloved seemed fresh and exciting, even when you stripped out the death vocals. But those acts also offered stylish pomp and dense, surprising structures – and Beast Within just cannot compete. You’re reading a review of the new Katra album, Beast Within. At this point I don’t know why you wouldn’t just stick with Nightwish, which is infinitely more invigorating.

You’re reading a review of the new Katra album, Beast Within.

That’s pretty annoying, isn’t it? So imagine hearing the anti-piracy announcer burst through several times during each song. I’ve never ranted about this before, but there has got to be a better way to dissuade uploads. Here, it’s just ironic – I’ve never uploaded my promos in the first place, but even if I did, it would first have to be an album that I thought was so awesome that it just must be shared.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
September 29th, 2008


  1. Commented by: Apollyon

    Caught me off guard seeing this reviewed at our lovely site. Here in Finland, Katra’s a huge joke and I’m stunned to see that she’s gotten an international distribution deal. Doesn’t help that her voice is horrible. If you need to get your fairies and pixies and don’t a mind milder (albeit, saying something’s milder compared to Katra is wrong), check out Indica. At least they have some integrity.

  2. Commented by: Belgarath

    Ha, I just realized that this Katra info sheet floating aorund with my stuff should have gone to you with the promo. Hope you didn’t need it!

  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    You’re reading a review by Gabaghoul of the new Katra album, Beast Within! Good review, man. Made me laugh.
    I now see why she’s a joke. She looks like a tranny, and not a particularly hot one, by the way. Yup, I just admitted some trannies are hot. Hahahahaha.

  4. Commented by: swampthang

    When she tours does she tour in a bus or a van? I’m gunna go with bus so in the wonderful lovely words of LG massive busflip.

  5. Commented by: sandwiches

    this sounded terrible. until i read the part about the anti piracy announcer. then it sounded like something i would contemplate killing myself to.

  6. Commented by: Epica

    Cool review, she is not liked in Finland, ist sad, since she is good singer.

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