Gloom – “Catharsis” Album Review


From gloom comes catharsis (the process of releasing therefore providing relief) should one choose to rise above the negative.  But from Slovakia comes gothic metal band Gloom with their second release Catharsis; a cut above the run-of-the-mill gothic metal/power metal acts that exist today.

You’ll notice the Metal section of hasn’t been quite as active as the Noise section.  Thanks to the kindness of Metal Age Productions, that is changing at least for today.  Among the discs enclosed we found today’s offering; Catharsis, the new album by Slovakian gothic metal band Gloom.  This is the follow-up to the band’s debut album Nostalgia drawing an end to an 8-year absence.

Ironically, it’s been a considerable length of time that a band name with negative connotations sounded so positive and dare I say at moments up-lifting.  Gloom plays a style closely akin to gothic metal staying a safe distance away from the over-saturated and routinely over-played power metal.  Yet Gloom appears to put their own stamp on the map of metal, also incorporating elements of hard rock with the twin-axe attack.

Think of the best moments of Paradise Lost’s clean years and perhaps a bit of Tiamat post-Clouds…perhaps even hints of Theatre of Tragedy and Annette-era Nightwish.  Someone having seen or heard any of those bands are sure to love Gloom.

Catharsis includes an excellent cover of “Lovesong” by The Cure bringing out an example of the goth roots in “gothic metal.”  But by far, the most emotionally intense track is “Lilyann;” an uplifting yet nostalgic-feeling song featuring the vocals of Natalia Buckova.  :52 is my favorite moment on the album with the introduction of her vocals.  This track speaks of hope and of longing for someone they never met.  Thankfully, it’s not the typical obnoxiously operatic early Nightwish style that is too prevalent these days.

One of the best qualities of this album other than its uplifting factor is the layering and harmonies of the vocals.  While “Lilyann” is the best example with the incorporation of Natalia’s voice, still the male vocals are well blended.

Catharsis provides much needed relief from the absence of good gothic metal.  Make no mistake by judging a band simply by its name.  Gloom rises with Catharsis.  

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Gloom – gothic metal from Slovakia

Catharsis was released by Metal Age Productions on April 4th.

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