After being in the works for a long time, Avichi’s Catharsis Absolute (Profound Lore) has finally surfaced, and for the most part it’s been worth the wait. Piano interludes open and close the album, with 4 tracks of ferocious black metal packed in between. Whilst the album isn’t exactly accessible, the melodic undercurrent that runs throughout the album makes it slightly more welcoming than other obscure one man projects such as Fyrnask. The harsh, repetitive riff at the end of ‘Flames In My Eyes’ is reminiscent of Darkthrone’s classic era, although it doesn’t feel half as frosty given that this album actually has some production quality. This is no bad thing though, as the production quality gives strength to ‘Lightweaver’, and heightens the anthemic qualities of ‘Voice of Intuition’. What is most noticeable about the album is the use of melody. This is particularly apparent on ‘Lightweaver’, where twisting black metal riffs, keyboards, and chanting intertwine to create a surprisingly catchy song. ‘Voice of Intuition’ is also surprisingly catchy, given the anthemic qualities of the song. A very audible vocal line of “SPEAK TO ME!” is bellowed out across a strong, almost black ‘n’ roll rhythm.
‘All Gods Fall’ is by far the longest track on the album, clocking in at 12 minutes. Here, Avichi slows things down, and gets atmospheric without ever falling into post-black metal tropes. Unfortunately though, it isn’t quite as memorable as the tracks that precede it, meaning that this otherwise great album goes out with a bit of a fizzle as opposed to a bang. It’s by no means a bad track, but the punchiness of the first 3 songs is sorely missed. The track is followed by the aforementioned piano outro, which at this point feels as if it drags, as opposed to adding any atmosphere to the album.
Whilst the album has undeniably strong moments, it is ultimately let down by ending on a meandering 12 minute track which feels lacking in focus, followed by a dull piano outro. If it had ended with one of the middle 3 tracks, it would probably offer a lot more incentive for repeat listens. Despite these negative points, Catharsis Absolute is a decent album, as the tracks which are good, are very good indeed.