Tuesday, July 11, 2017

BARATHRUM - "FANATIKO" (Saturnal Records, 2017)

Band: Barathrum
Title: Fanatiko
Genre: Black/Doom Metal
Year: 28th April 2017
Time: 36 min circa
Rating: 79/100

It took even 12 long years to hear a new album of Barathrum, a band that, guided since its early days in 1990 (when they were called initially Darkfeast) by the multi-instrumentalist singer Demonos Sova, was known in the underground for its incredible prolificity. In fact, you have to think that Barathrum were able to realize 8 full-lenght albums between 1995 and 2005, and they were already noted as one of the main black metal bands from Finland but also as one of the most particular entities of the entire black metal scene because, for example, of their curious line-up composed of 6 elements (but they were even in 7 for their 2000 "Okkult"!), included two bassplayers as the Greek band Necromantia. Hence, it's strange that Barathrum released nothing new between 2010 and 2017 (in fact, the 2014 "Warmetal" EP was recorded in 1993!), so some thought that the band ceased to exist. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth also because the new album "Fanatiko" was preceded two months before its release by the "Hellspawn" single, and so here we are to talk about the resurrected Barathrum, now supported by Saturnal Records, a Finnish label completely specialized in the Finnish black metal.

So, "Fanatiko" is composed of 8 tracks just opened by "Hellspawn", and the entire album represent the sum of the Barathrum-sound through a various tracklist but playing mainly a simple black/doom metal with a good ritualistic touch and made very raw due to the presence of the two basses.

Speaking about the variety of the tracklist, there are, for example, the groovy songs just as "Hellspawn", that starts with a bass riff with a very contagious punkish vibe. Obviously, there are other episodes more focused on a doom metal approach sublimated especially in that pleasant torment titled "Spirit of the Damned", one of the few songs of the album were every fast tempo is banned, included the blast-beats. These last ones, when used, are always hurting in a good way (as in "On the Dark River Bank") also if they override never on the rest of music. And finally, here and there there are even some touches of warlike heavy metal, listenable especially in "Arx Satanas", a track completely sung in Finnish when the other songs are in English. In brief, "Fanatiko" shows a good inventiveness throughout its 36 minutes of lenght.
But the ritualistic touch of the band characterize mostly the slower songs, and this atmosphere is given by many elements like a mysterious acoustic guitar ("On the Dark River Bank"), tribal drums on tom-toms ("Arx Satanas") and various kinds of vocals offered also by the many guests present in the album. And all this without forgetting that, for example, the obsessive and hypnotic finale of the conclusive titletrack, surely one of my favorite songs of the entire album, seems to be a satanic mantra. It isn't a case that, for me, the slower songs as "Spirit of the Damned" (where there is the only guitar solo of this full-lenght) or "Fanatiko" are where Barathrum do their best while other numbers like "Hellspawn" or "Church Amok" don't reach completely the desired effect. And speaking of "Fanatiko", this ultra-misanthropic and holocaustic mantra is so against the three main monotheistic religions to advocate even the re-opening of the concentration camps because "there's so much left of them [Jews] who need same handling"!

Instead, the guests are 6 and some of them are illustrious like Spellgoth of Horna or Zetekh and John Oscar Dee aka Ptahaz of Saturnian Mist (check out their excellent 2015 "Chaos Magick"!) with these two last ones that are also the owners both of Saturnal Records and the Blackvox Studios where this album was recorded and mixed by them between June and November 2016. Other guests are Hoath Cambion of the promising band Sacrificium Carmen, Kate Boss (that provided with her ritual bowls in "On the Dark River Bank") and Naaras (Lapamato-Luuska-Ruumis).

Said all this, "Fanatiko" is a very good comeback of an historic band like them, that recently played at the Tuska Open Air 2017 in an edition where were even Mayhem. Now, we have to hope that Demonos Sova and co. will not expect other 12 long years to release their tenth album...


1 - Hellspawn
2 - Pope Corpse Tattoo
3 - On the Dark River Bank
4 - Sadistic Pleasure
5 - Arx Satanas
6 - Church Amok
7 - Spirit of the Damned
8 - Fanatiko


Demonos Sova - vocals
Raakalainen - rhythm guitar
Pelceboop - lead guitar
Nuklear Tormentörr - rhythm bass/vocals
Ruttokieli - lead bass/vocals
Vendetta - drums/vocals


Spellgoth - vocals
Zetekh - vocals
John Oscar Dee - vocals
Hoath Cambion - vocals
Kate Boss - ritual bowls (track 3)
Naaras (Lapamato-Luuska-Ruumis) - vocals

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barathrum-Official/562686087086348
BandCamp: https://barathrum.bandcamp.com/
Saturnal Records: http://www.saturnalrecords.com/

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