Katagory V - Hymns of dissension 4.5/5
1. Listen to you, listen to me
3. Do feelings remain
4. Lies and illusions
5. Apologetic heart
6. Kings of the valley
7. Forlorn child
8. Can you hear them
9. No matter what
10. Enemy (bonus track)
11. Sands of time (bonus track)
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Utah-based progressive power metal band Katagory V, especially their shocking 3rd CD 'The rising anger', which was released in 2006, but since that CD was delayed, the band already had new songs written at the time; so they're quickly back one year later with their 4th CD, 'Hymns of dissension'. My review (and high 4.5/5 rating) for 'The rising anger' seemed to turn a lot of heads, and it's something I'm happy to be responsible for, as I stand by the rating to this day and still remember the many weeks of constantly craving and listening to the thing. I've learned since publishing my review that the band totally clicks with some metal fans (like myself), but just like with all bands, not everyone seems to get them.
Well, the first thing I want to mention is that if you like 'The rising anger', you're going to like 'Hymns of dissension' just as much, if not more. The production is again strong and their typical arrangements are still present, but I've found 'Hymns of dissension' to be an even heavier CD. There's a good amount of slow/mellow parts on 'The rising anger' and there are less of those on display this time. In fact, with exception of a few moments on track 5 "Apologetic heart" and track 6 "Kings of the valley", and the one pure ballad (track 8 "Can you hear them"), the entire CD is very heavy. Unfortunately, I must admit that a lot of the slow/mellow parts on 'The rising anger' created a very memorable listen, and I've found that I don't crave 'Hymns of dissension' quite as much.
The CD runs smoother than 'The rising anger' though, with a lot better consistency, regarding both style and quality. A few of the songs on 'The rising anger' dropped off just a bit in quality from the rest of the CD, and I don't think that occurs once on 'Hymns of dissension'. Plus, the CD is a tremendous listen if you're into powerful guitar work, as, while bassist Dustin Mitchell keeps the pace going, guitarists Curtis Morrell and Marc Hanson go nuts on more than one occasion. Yeah, their performances on track 2 "Workforce" and track 7 "Forlorn child" especially come to mind, and the CD as a whole is by far one of the better dual guitar attacks I've heard this year. Lynn Allers' vocals are once again crystal clear and it's nice to hear the band continuing right where 'The rising anger' left off. While my favorite song from the band thus far remains "Risk and sacrifice" from 'The rising anger', I think 'Hymns of dissension' is their best overall CD.
What's also great, is while the CD has brought some other recent CDs to mind, namely Shadow Keep's 'A chaos theory', Mindguard's 'Out of the dark', Scariot's 'Momentum shift' or Anubis Gate's 'Andromeda unchained' (without the keyboards), and there are also times when earlier CDs are brought to mind (those from early Queensryche, Fates Warning, etc.), this CD truly has it's own unique sound. That goes for the band's entire discography, in fact. Now that I've seen them in concert a few times and have visited the recording studio after a nice invite, I can tell you that they're a great bunch of guys too. I remain proud they share the same state with me and I hope they're around for a long time. Well done guys!
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