Katavasia is a new Greek supergroup consisting of members from renowned bands such as Varathron, Aenaon, Hail Spirit Noir, and Agnes Vein. I had the pleasure to discuss their debut album, Sacrilegious Testament, with Astrous (guitarist and main songwriter). Here is my "InteReview".
|Cover art by Agostino Arrivabene|
The first thing I hear once Cosmic Nightmare begins is "The Sign of Evil Existence" (Rotting Christ). Especially the monolithic drum pattern. But that doesn't last, you get the spooky keyboards in there with the mid pace riff and then again back to uptempo to end off the lead track. Straight and to the point, pretty much what you want to begin an album.
Katavasia's sound is straight to the point. No strange layers, no strange drum patterns, only pure greek black metal atmosphere. We follow the spirit of the 90s adding our own identity. We are offering the original values of the past based on the fresh vision we have.
True, there is nothing strange or 'out of left field' on this album. It's pure no doubt, but there is a definite freshness and not just mimicking an old sound.
We are musicians who respect ourselves, This is something that can be proved by the sound of our main bands. So even if the purpose of Katavasia is to achive a nostalgic mood, we can't be copycats. On the other hand I can't deny that our sound is based on old school, some times familiar patterns. For that reason I believe that Sacrilegious Testament is a successful album, it's balanced and flexible.
What song do you enjoy the most on this album (and why)?
I will choose "The Chariot of Emperor". I love the epic feeling of this track. Also I think it's quite cool because of the duet between Necroabyssious (vocals) and Sakis (guest vocals from Rotting Christ). Since I am admirer of 90s greek black metal, an almost 'historic' duet like this, can't leave me untouched. Also, the guitar solo of Achilleas C. for me is brilliant, don't you think?
I won't disagree you on the sentiment but "Visions of the Misty Night" is my favorite. Love the opening riff, the guitar at 1:10 and the tortured vocals.
Yes, this is a very important spot, too. You know, I believe that the positive thing with this album is that it has so many elements, so that anyone could find something to individualize. Whether it is an intense and fast outburst , or a doom and heavy riff, or even a melodic moment.
You were responsible for writing almost all of the material. Was there any song(s) that came very easy or very hard (and had to be reworked) or that other members needed help completing for you?
Every song was composed very easily. I think that this was due to the music coming directly from my heart. These things rolled very loosely and without much analysis. However, Achilleas C.’s help was essential referring to the songs’ structure, adding some riffs and ideas here and there. In addition to that, Haris’ keyboard themes gave a mystical atmosphere, as well as the intense and full of energy drumming of Foivos. At the end, I can’t skip the gorgeous performance of Necroabyssious in the vocal section. He really managed to achieve a demonic and furious tone.
Do you have plans for an eventual follow up? Since you are "reliving the past", doesn't a follow up make it even harder to do and potentially lessen the impact?
Firstly, every member of Katavasia has its main band, in which we drain artistic concerns. On the other hand, Katavasia is something not over-analyzed at all, but something we do for our personal satisfaction. Now, releasing new material is related to our free time and our mood. Referring to your last question, I think that most of the people out there don't judge based on the age of something (of course, being a pioneer is very significant), but they judge based on how honest and dignified is a piece of art. Or at least, this is what I want to believe.
Astrous, thank you for your time. And thank you for creating one of the best albums of the year.