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On disc: Katanga

Moonchild - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


(Massacre Records - 2011)

They are from Eastern Germany and not from the South of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - as the name suggests -, and they have nothing to do with feeder river which leads into Tunguska river. If they are inspired by the British movie based on the novel The Dark Of The Sun by Wilbur Smith, I can't tell. Katanga was founded back in 1998, during the years they had to face some line-up changes, but they also released 2 EPs and a full-length album called Darkchild. Now it's time for Moonchild! It's been five years since they released Darkchild, but since Massacre Records is releasing their album chances are good we hear of Katanga more frequently now.
With the intro Marquis de Sade they open up, here they combine symphonic elements with electro sounds. Then towards the end some spoken words. Heavy riffs lead into the up-tempo tune Gottlos, a danceable track with catchy vocals by Mario. Mario adds a theatrical touch to Katanga's sound. Usually I'm not a big fan of dark / gothic metal with electro sounds, but somehow songs like Mörder der Erinnerung hooks me up. His female counter part Doreen seems to answer him, but her vocals are more in the background. An a cappella intermezzo is When Darkness Falls. Then it's time for the title track, you hear the wind blow, a bell toll, then the strings lead you into a fast, riff-based track spiced up with electro sounds. With Mein Traum they present a balladesque tune with acoustic guitars, but then they go full force with heavy riffs and bittersweet keyboard. At Lemuria Doreen finally steps up and takes over the leads - sharing vocal duties with Mario. Schwarze Flügel is another catchy danceable track, but even if they stay inside their musical range they vary from song to song - and so make it entertaining. The opening part of Das Nichts slightly reminds me of Paradise Lost at Draconian Times - mainly it's the keyboard -, but then the atmosphere changes and they add more electro sounds. This time Doreen is singing more leads. After the 6 minute long Bittermond they offer 3 old tracks in a new version. As I don't know the original recordings I can't tell how much they differ, but Batflight sounds really good. And I guess, they improved through the years, so it was worth overdoing this track.
Fans of gothic metal with electro sounds, danceable tracks and atmospheric tunes should check out Katanga!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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