I’ve said it before, and goddamit, I’ll keep saying it. As many of the Norwegian bands we all came to know and love since the black metal days of terror have gone on to become sad caricatures of themselves, it almost got to where hearing about a band from that country hardly became the exciting event that it once was anymore. Luckily a good handful maintained their integrity and stayed the original course and we even have had a few new ones appear that have delivered solid material. Here we have the first full-length from Katechon, newcomers to the scene from the country in the Great White North that gave us a wealth of talent once upon a time, and appears to still have some tricks up its sleeve!

Unlike several Norwegian bands that seem to be incestuous collaborations of members of various veteran bands, it appears Katechon arose from obscurity as the members only go by their initials and seem to have no prior affiliation with any bands that have established any sort of legacy. The appeal here is that the band brings a modern, fresh approach while maintaining classic Norwegian nuances throughout. You don’t need much a well-trained ear to hear plenty of rabid punkisms in tracks such of “Spring of Man”, “Unbeing”, and also “Endgames” (probably the tracks that shine the brightest on here for me personally), and the closer “Beautiful Desolation” sounds like the Norwegians acts of yore that once owned the scene. Production is razor-sharp and riffs and solos dance around a blazing northern sky with contempt and savagery that is a prerequisite for true Norwegian black metal. Okay, my stupid puns aside, you can expect no less than raw and mind-numbing black metal here minus any chants, keyboards, or acoustics thrown in for maximum brutality and decimation.

I never harbored any doubt that Nuclear War Now! Productions could release a less-than-stellar product even if they wanted to. While they are mostly known for their outstanding re-releases of classic underground gems often with mind-blowing bonus items, their line-up of newer acts is also a force to be reckoned with. We should be grateful that they take the time and effort to discover incredible obscure acts from around the globe and give them the exposure and treatment that they deserve. With a killer act like Katechon in their arsenal, they have once again proven to be one of the top-tier underground labels. You owe it to you to explore Katechon and the pummeling devastation contained herein! (FA)