Katagory V - The rising anger 4.5/5
1. A change in time
2. Liberated minds
3. The elitist
4. Will you remember
5. The rising anger
7. Leave us behind
8. Fading in...
9. Hostile takeover
10. Risk and sacrifice
Fellow Utahns shock me!! Yes, that's right. From my home state of Utah, Katagory V take a massive leap in quality with their 3rd CD 'The rising anger'! For starters, the band's finally obtained a production that does their music justice. While their debut 'Present day' has a decent production, the production on their 2nd CD 'A new breed of rebellion' (which I reviewed and rated 3/5) is more in the poor range, so improving their sound really was an important aspect in this stage of their career. In addition, the band has officially signed with the well established Nightmare Records (who mastered the CD) and they're all set to become a major contender in the world of metal!
Katagory V is made up of 5 members; Curtis Morrell and Marc Hanson (who is new to the band on this 3rd CD) are on guitar, Dustin Mitchell handles the bass, Matt Suiter is on drums and Lynn Allers is the band's vocalist. Backing vocals are a part of what the band offers us though, so possibly all members participate in the vocal department. Together, they create a band that seems to care a lot about the local bands/scene (are huge supporters of www.utahmetal.com) and it's obvious they're proud to be a part of the state of Utah. In fact, the beautiful cover artwork is a setting in southern Utah.
Describing the band can be a little involved as they combine a few different metal styles, but they mostly fall into the catagory of progressive heavy/power metal. Comparisons to Shadow Keep, Anubis Gate and Jacobs Dream can be made and I also hear some early Queensryche, Fates Warning and Savatage in their sound. But that's not all, as a few of the heavier moments have brought Anthrax ('Persistence of time' era), Testament ('Practice what you preach' era) and Metal Church ('The human factor' era) to mind. I've found 'The rising anger' to be more melodic and less progressive than their previous CD 'A new breed of rebellion', and it features their best songwriting to date. No keyboard or symphonic elements are present and the CD overall is a breath of fresh air.
After the short intro "A change in time", pounding riffs get "Liberated minds" going until it settles into a great rhythm, preparing us for the tremendous track 3 "The elitist". This lengthy song contains killer guitar work, a change in tempo in the middle to calm us down and is by far one of the CD's best! Track 4 "Will you remember" is a slow and emotional song but contains some thick/heavy riffs. The contrast in feeling is awesome and this will surely be a favorite as well. Special mention must be made of the wonderful clarity that exists with Lynn's vocals. No need to pull out the booklet/lyrics folks! The words are crystal clear and add an aspect to the CD that is greatly lacking from many of the CDs these days.
The CD up to this point is very crisp, but after the opening riffs of "The rising anger", the verse is a little shaky and reminds me of the average songs off of 'A new breed of rebellion'. The song smooths out at the bridge however, and a few short but outstanding guitar solos later on still make this a solid song. Track 6 "Drained" and track 7 "Leave us behind" are both very strong mid-paced songs with dashes of speed, excellent guitar work and plenty of crunch. The slow track 8 "Fading in..." that follows is easily the most memorable and probably the most melodic. This is also the song where I find myself drawn to Dustin's bass playing, such an important part of the band's amazing performance with this CD. Though fairly good, track 9 "Hostile takeover" is my least favorite song on the CD, as it's a little too much in the Anthrax/Testament/Metal Church direction and I feel it's not quite as cohesive as every other song on the CD. The final song "Risk and sacrifice" is nothing short of magnificent!! Surely the band's best song to date, contains lyrics with important meaning, and is one that will have many fans literally cheering! The only problem with this song is it has to have an ending.
There are so many positives with 'The rising anger', but the one thing that has really stood out is how much I crave the CD. I'm constantly reaching for it under circumstances that I'd normally not even be thinking of listening to music. In fact, the last few weeks of listening to and reviewing the CD have been a true highlight for me as manager of the Metal CD Ratings site. 'The rising anger' is a fantastic CD that will be received very well in the metal community and I wish the band all the success in the world. They certainly deserve it!
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