Here's another cool doomy treat from the folks over at Archaic Sound, the sophomore album from Finland's Cataleptic, titled Forward. With a line-up that includes S. Iivonen (vocals, guitar), J. Karjalainen (drums), H. Hyytiäinen (bass, backing vocals), and M. Tarkiainen (guitar), these guys play doom laden death metal clearly influenced by early Katatonia, with strong growling vocals bellowing over slow heavy riffing but a keen sense of melody sprinkled about. Comprised of only four lengthy tracks, Forward doesn't waste a lot of time with filler, "Ancient Might" kicking things off in grand fashion, the riffs effective and memorable, the vocals commanding, and the arrangement epic. "Grave Peril" slows things down considerably, with long stretches of atmospheric doom creating some menacing mood before a pummeling, almost black metal styled crescendo complete with acrobatic drumming and fierce tremolo picked riffs. The 12+ minute "Oath to Power" plods along and crushes with no mercy, Iivonen's inhuman bellows impossible to ignore as he lays waste to everything in his path, and the herculean epic "Disown - Obliterate" (funny how each song here is longer than the one before it), at just over 22-minutes, can test your attention span in spots but still does an effective job of delivering massive doom, complete with some monstrous riffs and raging growls.
Forward is ultimately pretty impressive, my one complaint being that there is a certain lack of diversity throughout the album that keeps the tracks from having any uniqueness from each other, but for many that won't matter at all. Think Katatonia's first few doom/death albums and cross that with Amon Amarth, and you have an idea of what to expect here. Good stuff.
1) Ancient Might
2) Grave Peril
3) Oath to Power
4) Disown - Obliterate