Rating:
4.5
Kathaarsys - Rara Vez
9 April 2012


01. Manipulación
02. Traxedia Española
03. Crítica da Estupidez Pura
04. Retorno á Idade Media
05. A Involución das Masas


Artisan edition
4 pages of a fictitious newspaper written in Galego (gallaecian language). Five articles that match the five tracks on the album, complementing them in a concept level. Big format: 30 x 21 x 1 cm, 230g
LightScribe CD


I'll be the first to admit that Kathaarsys have never particularly interested me, in that I've never truly felt in any way enticed by their music. They've been around for a decade now and have worked their way into gaining some popularity around the world, but their combination of prog and black metal has always felt disjointed and somewhat emotionless.

Rara Vez, one of the more bizarre concept albums I've come across, doesn't do anything to change my opinion. Not just because this isn't in any way, shape, or form a black metal release, but because once again they prove how something potentially interesting can come off completely saturated and convoluted. Ideas seem mashed together for the sake of it and nothing becomes actualized beyond a few drowsy flamenco influences. In fact, the only ideas that are really present seem to be foundation-type ideas - things to build on. But they're simply never built upon.

When I read that this album was based on a fictitious newspaper that supposedly augmented the music, I was more than intrigued. My intrigue slowly faded after realizing it wasn't just the opening track that sounded like an intro - but the entire album. Each song just seems like a beginning without a middle or end, and you're kind of left wondering why you feel so... disjointed and emotionless. A complete change in style and still the same lack of provocation. Meandering at its finest, to be sure.

All that said, the musicianship is top-notch, and the atmosphere is definitely captivating, especially when taken into account the concept of basing music on a fictitious newspaper. This time around Kathaarsys have released a purely progressive piano rock album accompanied by a rather limited use of strictly clean vocals, yet even this drastic change results in the same "I can't remember a single riff from this album" feel. Maybe if every song didn't come across as an introduction to something bigger and the band members spent more time concluding their tracks, this album would at least have some semblance of cohesion. Unfortunately, it's more of a tedious 40-minute intro that just doesn't know how to end.

Well... it ends. With a seven-minute spoken word passage. Hopefully you speak Galician. And are still awake.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 6
Production: 9


 



Written on 25.04.2012 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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PocketMetal - 25.04.2012 at 19:02  
That's sad , I enjoyed their first release but wasn't too interested to check out the rest .
I may give this a listen at some point , I hope I find it more interesting than you . ( which I highly doubt )

and what's with the "2013- Progressive Black Metal" on their profile ?
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 19:02  
And of course you can judge for yourselves here.
Asunder - 25.04.2012 at 19:26  
Good review this sounds interesting you saved me 40min, and a 7min spoken word outro that I can't even understand? Wow that's gey
pyrz - 25.04.2012 at 20:04  
This is not nearly as bad as the rating suggests.
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 20:09  
Written by pyrz on 25.04.2012 at 20:04
This is not nearly as bad as the rating suggests.

Care to elaborate? I'd actually really like to hear from someone who finds this nice to listen to.
Mr. Doctor - 25.04.2012 at 20:10  
I actually liked some of the tracks... but it's really weird sometimes I like it and sometimes I really understand the rating you gave it. This could have been a good album if it actually went somewhere but at the same times some passages are pretty beautiful (specially Retorno á Idade Media).... Hard for me to give it a proper rating.
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 20:17  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 25.04.2012 at 20:10
This could have been a good album if it actually went somewhere but at the same times some passages are pretty beautiful (specially Retorno á Idade Media).

Those beautiful moments are what make up the 45% rating. The meandering and inability to conclude an idea results in a 55% penalty.
Mr. Doctor - 25.04.2012 at 20:19  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.04.2012 at 20:17

Written by Mr. Doctor on 25.04.2012 at 20:10
This could have been a good album if it actually went somewhere but at the same times some passages are pretty beautiful (specially Retorno á Idade Media).

Those beautiful moments are what make up the 45% rating. The meandering and inability to conclude an idea results in a 55% penalty.


Yeah, I decide to stay with a 5 (if we could vote with .5 I would definitely go with 4.5). I really loved the second to last track but then I realized that's probably the only one I could go back to...
pyrz - 25.04.2012 at 20:19  
Well, as you already wrote, it's a "progressive piano rock album" and I find it very relaxing to listen to. Maybe I would give it a 4.5/10 as well because it lacks a real climax, but when you consider how people use this 1 to 10 scale, a rating of 4.5 suggests it's pure shit. If this was a Death Metal record with the same amount of variation, it would get a 7+ right away.
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 20:28  
Written by pyrz on 25.04.2012 at 20:19
Maybe I would give it a 4.5/10 as well because it lacks a real climax, but when you consider how people use this 1 to 10 scale, a rating of 4.5 suggests it's pure shit. If this was a Death Metal record with the same amount of variation, it would get a 7+ right away.

Technically a 4.5 would land this right between "bad" and "not good" according to the MS rating scale (which I go by for reviews).

And I've rated death metal albums about the same. Actually that's not entirely true since I rarely review death metal albums (unless it's something I want to review because I like it) but my review of LoG's latest pretty much focuses on the same complaints (lack of variation and such) and I only scored it half-a-point higher.
Lokaeda - 25.04.2012 at 20:30  
Well if you don't expect a metal cd, it's not that bad to listen at. Can be boring at times though, especially if you don't speak the language but hey, we listen to some Norwegian bands, don't we ?
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 20:34  
Written by Lokaeda on 25.04.2012 at 20:30
Well if you don't expect a metal cd, it's not that bad to listen at. Can be boring at times though, especially if you don't speak the language but hey, we listen to some Norwegian bands, don't we ?

To be honest I didn't let the non-metal aspect factor into the rating... I mean, it was about as surprising as Evinta but you learn to adapt halfway through the album. After you digest the change in direction you analyze the music for what it is regardless and hope for the best.

And the part about the spoken word was just kind of a jab at the band. Like they spent all this time building up, presumably leading to something big, like a bombastic climax of the ages... and then it's actually just a seven-minute spoken word outro. Talk about anti-climactic.
Lokaeda - 25.04.2012 at 20:39  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.04.2012 at 20:34

To be honest I didn't let the non-metal aspect factor into the rating... I mean, it was about as surprising as Evinta but you learn to adapt halfway through the album. After you digest the change in direction you analyze the music for what it is regardless and hope for the best.

And the part about the spoken word was just kind of a jab at the band. Like they spent all this time building up, presumably leading to something big, like a bombastic climax of the ages... and then it's actually just a seven-minute spoken word outro. Talk about anti-climactic.


Yeah I see what you mean about the music. If I were to rate this album, it would be a 5, surely not even a 5.5. It's like the last Opeth: some parts are nice, but globally when the music is boring, even if top-notch, the music is boring.
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 20:42  
Written by Lokaeda on 25.04.2012 at 20:39
...globally when the music is boring, even if top-notch, the music is boring.

Great point.
mz - 25.04.2012 at 21:31  
Haven't heard any thing about this band before but the cover somehow reminds me Jethro Tull's thick as a brick
Fat & Sassy! - 25.04.2012 at 21:34  
Written by mz on 25.04.2012 at 21:31

Haven't heard any thing about this band before but the cover somehow reminds me Jethro Tull's thick as a brick


I thought the same thing about the album cover! xD

I found this album pretty darn interesting during my first listen. But I am also a big fan of flamenco guitar and classical piano, so you know. I didn't really find anything wrong with the structure of the compositions either, but you're right about the last track. Complete throwaway. >_>
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 22:21  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 25.04.2012 at 21:34
I didn't really find anything wrong with the structure of the compositions either, but you're right about the last track.

This isn't a genre I normally concern myself with so it may not be any different from the rest of the pack. In that case my opinion wouldn't be limited to this album but would apply to the entire flamenco genre.
Introspekrieg - 26.04.2012 at 11:46  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 25.04.2012 at 21:34

Written by mz on 25.04.2012 at 21:31

Haven't heard any thing about this band before but the cover somehow reminds me Jethro Tull's thick as a brick


I thought the same thing about the album cover! xD


OMG me too! I'm so progmo right now!

Nah, they knew what they were doing. I don't mind this album at all. Those bastards.
Matus Dust - 26.04.2012 at 14:39  
The bad rating cought my eye, so I went on and listened to the stream. I must say, this isn't that bad at all. Don't get me wrong, the rating is probably justified - I can imagine this album is pretty boring for most people - they are not doing much. It reminds me a little of Drudkh Solitude album, that also got low ratings. I enjoy that kind of stuff... But what the heck is the last song - 7mins, really?

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