Katavasia’s debut ‘Sacrilegious Testamant’ (2015) was something of a Varathron tribute album from this Greek supergroup. Now with five years of distance they have offered us follow up ‘Magnus Venator’, and the change is instantly striking. Knitted into the epically melodic heavy metal stylings of recent Varathron we now have smatterings of symphonic and pagan black metal. But the real takeaway message that ‘Magnus Venator’ wants to convey is a band more sure of themselves, less preoccupied with genre box ticking and more focused on crafting majestic and epic pieces of romantic extreme metal. There is a greater energy and purpose that can be found in the stronger production, the willingness to vary tempos, greater contrast between tracks, and a diverse array of influences; even Stefan’s vocals – already full of character as Varathron’s long standing calling card – feel more varied and full of live.
A terrific record from Katavasia!