Katavasia – Magnus Venator

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Katavasia is a Greek black metal band that managed to make a difference from the first moment and their debut album “Sacrilegious Testament” (2015). They also released the 7” EP “Demonic Offering” (2017) and now they present us their second complete work.

Of course, what they did was not a surprise, considering what the band members have done so far. Necroabyssious (Varathron) on vocals, Astrous (Aenaon) on guitars, Achilleas C. (Aenaon, Varathron) on guitars/bass, Dimitris K. (Melan Selas) on guitars and Foivos (Agnes Vein, Hail Spirit Noir) on drums have years of experience from the wider black metal scene and fortunately they decided to join forces for this band.

The result is an awesome album that can easily be called Hellenic black metal, this immediately recognizable style that was established in Greece in the early 90s. “Magnus Venator” reminds me of bands like Varathron (obviously), old Rotting Christ and Agatus among others. Guest here to a guitar solo is George Emmanuel (Lucifer’s Child, ex-Rotting Christ) while in the previous one were Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) on vocals and Sotiris Vayenas (Septicflesh) on guitars.

The tracks range between up-tempo and mid-tempo speeds. The guitars easily make the difference here, either with the classic tremolo-picking riffs that create a killer combination along with the impeccable drumming or with the awesome melodies that lead to amazing atmospheric moments. They are also helped by some very well-placed keyboards where needed without being used too much and make the result even more epic.

The structures of the compositions, the vocals of Necroabyssious and in general all the vibe that the album has, give you the impression that it was recorded in Storm Studio in the mid-90s and had been forgotten in a drawer for so many years. The production by Achilleas also helps with this. It has an old-school feeling (especially in the sound of the drums) but fortunately it does not sound noisy just to be “true”. They combine old sound through a modern prism perfectly.

In conclusion, “Magnus Venator” is a remarkable work in all respects and I consider it big improvement from their debut “Sacrilegious Testament”. Within forty minutes of music, Katavasia gives us an album which I believe will easily satisfy any fan of the (Greek) black metal sound. Never mind the five-year anticipation, it was worth it. I just hope it won’t take them so long until their next work.