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Katana Cartel: Sacred Oath

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Katana Cartel have a clear mission as stated by the band themselves and also self-evident in the music itself. That Mission is simple, to rock out, have fun and to not be afraid to show it. Katana Cartel mixes a blend of Traditional Metal, Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Modern Metal & Hard Rock. Having been founded in 2012 by guitarist Rob Georgievski the band would go through some line-up changes but eventually coalesced in 2015 and leading to this their debut album Sacred Oath.

From the opening chords of “War Prelude” you can see the intention, as stated above, being played out. It’s a short intro, but with an epic feel that then leads, with air raid sirens, into “Air Raid” which has a great mix of Thrash and Traditional Metal with plenty of catchy vocal melodies and straight to the point guitar riffs. “Bang Your Head” continues the march forward in the same way this time, throwing in some Death Growls into the last part of the song. “Night Town” sees the band going full on Iron Maiden for the opening gallop with yet another catchy chorus. Vocalist Steven Falkingham does a great job throughout. His voice is at times reminiscent of a young Chuck Billy of Testament and also sounds almost New Wave at others, there’s even a bit of the 90’s Pop Punk thing, but all with power and confidence and enough of his own flavor to make for an enjoyable vocal experience. The guitars handled by Rob Georgievski and Dylan Reever are catchy and cool if not somewhat generic. They aren’t really breaking any new ground here but it doesn’t detract from the songs being fun and enjoyable. The rhythm section is held up solidly by Matt Ientile on Bass who has a very nice fat, grinding, ballsy tone bubbling away underneath, and John Price mixing it up on the drums doing a good job of moving through the different vibes on offer. “Dime A Dozen” is a bit of a weaker track with that main riff being about as 90’s generic metal as it gets, but even still, on the whole, the song is still relatively enjoyable, which is a testament to their ability to write good melodies on top. “The Battle” fires up the energy again with a mix of the Thrash, Modern and Power Metal approach in full effect. “Fragile Denial” kicks off with some cool straight forward thrashy riffing before changing directions to be more of a melodic hard rock track with those Nice vocal lines again and eventually building the song back up into some Traditional Metal epicness. “Grenade” has a bit of a 90's Metallica rock vibe and the bridge to the chorus having a Power Metal edge to it, however about half way through it gains an epicness and the guitars take off with some tasty soloing. “The Art of Self-Destruction” continues with their mix of metal genres this time mixing 80’s and 90’s influences to create a very cool track loaded with catchy vocal harmonies and guitar fireworks. Finally rounding it out in similarly epic fashion with “Judge Shredd”

Katana Cartel have done a great job in fusing Traditional, Thrash, Power and Modern Metal as well as Hard Rock and even a bit of New Wave. The vocal melodies in particular are very catchy and enjoyable, but so too are the riffs and the feel is pretty consistently kick ass throughout. The performances are strong and the production is pretty good too. Overall Sacred Oath is a good solid debut that doesn’t really do anything new, but rocks out non the less, and after all, that was their mission in the first rock out and have fun doing it, and this album is certainly good fist pumping, head banging fun.

Katana Cartel are:
Steven Falkingham-Lead Vocals
Robert Georgievski-Guitar
Matt Ientile-Bass
Dylan Reever -Guitar
John Price -Drums

Track Listing

  1. War Prelude
  2. Air Raid
  3. Bang Your Head
  4. Night Town
  5. Dime A Dozen
  6. The Battle
  7. Fragile Denial
  8. Grenade
  9. The Art Of Self-Destruction
  10. Judge Shredd

Added: October 15th 2021
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 417
Language: english

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