This album is going to hit most of you like a lightning strike out of the clear blue sky, and just like the shock and surprise of such a electrifying event, it will leave most listeners with a megawatt jolt down the spine and eyes popping out of a smoking head.
It’s a fair guess that only a fortunate few have previously encountered Katari. They’re a duo (Dany I. and Assassin) based in Huánuco, Peru, who first joined forces in early 2006 and went on to release a handful of demos in very limited quantities, as well as a 2011 split and a 2013 EP (At Peace). With any luck, their music is about to reach a bigger audience, thanks to the release of their debut album, Ave, Rex Ivdaeorvm!, on May 4 by From Deepest Records. And maybe our premiere of the music will be of some help, too.
The album includes a selection of tracks from the band’s early demos plus some songs whose origins also date back to the early days. And in a nutshell, the music is very much in the line of blasphemous, barbaric, hate-filled, highly accelerated South American black metal. But that high-level label really doesn’t do the album full justice.
It begins with a largely instrumental track (save for a few wretched, agonized shrieks) that has a ritualistic air thanks to its pounding drum beat and the foul, sulphurous, infernally magisterial atmosphere it quickly exudes. It’s a grim and brooding piece that sounds like the prelude to a human sacrifice. And after that, Katari (which means “serpent” in the Quechua-Aymara language) jam the pedal to the floor in “Extermination”, a feral assault that conjures images of thrashing demons consumed in hellfire. The drummer — who puts on a jaw-dropping show throughout the album — hammers, blasts and somersaults while the guitarist unleashes savage, flesh-cutting riffs, feverishly flickering leads, and a blood-boiling solo. The guitar tone is begrimed and befouled, and the echoing vocals sound authentically inhuman.
And things don’t let up much after that. This orgiastic celebration of satanic supremacy is a mix of black thrash and speed metal (with nods toward the genres’ punk roots and more than a few fiendishly good “classic” heavy metal flourishes), loaded with quickly addictive, head-moving, body-jolting riffs, reptilian leads, flame-throwing solos, and nitro-fueled drumwork. It’s a wild ride, the kind of galvanizing trip that will leave listeners (at least figuratively, if not literally) bathed in sweat, on fire, and ready to go to war. To mix my metaphors, it busts up your furniture, sprays gasoline over the remnants, and puts the torch to everything.
There are a few breathers here and there in the songs, but they’re more like the band just revving the engine before opening the throttle again. The only real breather comes in the instrumental track “Inclemency”, though it really builds tension as much as it allows time for a few gulps of air before the last two tracks punch the turbocharger again for one final blast of rabid mayhem.
Seriously, for people with a taste for evil, take-no-prisoners black thrash, Ave, Rex Ivdaeorvm! is a diamond in the rough.
The premiere stream we have for you is one YouTube clip of the whole album, and so we’ve included the track list below, so you’ll know where you are.
1. Pure Hate 02:45
2. Extermination 02:35
3. Born for Evil 04:14
4. Impaled on a Phallic Cross 04:19
5. Fucked by Serpents 03:05
6. Black Metal Thorns 02:34
7. Inclemency 02:57
8. Mutilated and Inverted 04:06
9. Acid Venom 03:36
If you’re interested in getting the album on CD (which will be limited to 500 copies), here are the e-mail addresses to use: