Olio Tähtien Takana – Spectral Katharsis

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From the dark mind of the Finnish multi-instrumentalist V-Khaoz, Avantgarde Music presents the third studio album ‘Spectral Katharsis‘ by the symphonic/atmospheric black metal act Olio Tähtien Takana, which translates to “Creature behind the star” in English. The album cover art immediately gives us a sense of immersion in the symphonic spectacles from nineties black metal bands like Odium, Limbonic Art and Sirius. The third oeuvre which also includes vocalist Hellwind Inferion (Embryonic Slumber, Desolate Shrine) sprawls in all directions to deep cosmic space. Particularly in this field, the duo has already collaborated in harmony on other side projects and Olio Tähtien Takana is no exception as it fully encapsulates the cold synthesizer sounds with a heavy guitar barrage. There’s nothing like beholding the splendor of V-Khaoz’s musical works in creating a complex manifestation of cosmic black metal.  

Right from the opening track ‘Intro-Enter the Maw of Souls‘ the eerie synth sets course for the galactic spheres as the journey begins with ‘Towards The Dying Moon‘. It conveys a grim guitar tone where the keyboards build up a spacey ambient sound so rich in its textures that it serves as a theatrical backdrop to this dark glacial symphony. The blast beats ebb and flow as the frigid synth passages and the scorching riffs swell. It just feels like the planets have aligned when the driven guitars bring this extraordinary momentum to the music. In the spectacular opening of ‘Excrucior‘ the guitars and the snarling vocals offer a grand unison, where the thrilling streams of cosmic synth shimmer along with the slow rhythmic drums.  

Spectral Katharsis‘ delivers the kind of black metal trademark that would mostly appeal to the fans of Emperor and Obsidian Gate. The symphonic elements and the instrumentation unfolds the creativity of V-Khaoz. While many contemporary bands strive to give us something similar in this scope, Olio Tähtien Katana weaves something very unusual from the current trend, presenting an epic, starry theme that truly grasps the hallmarks of this style. In ‘A Sorcery Written in Stars‘ the atmospheric elements are carried by fabulous guitar lines and frosty keyboards. Every track here delivers a diverse range of dark guitar riffs, sprawling on the spacious tone of the dazzling synth. The vocals are savage and marvelously sung throughout the album.

Prophecies of Pandemonium‘ binds the blistering drums with the cold riffing and the tremolo-picked riffs, reverbing strongly to create a static, spacey effect. Splendid, glacial keyboards sweep along the blasting sections. ‘Spectral Katharsis‘ imposes an epic signature sound that is mainly composed of rapid tremolos, laced with harsh black metal vocals.  

Musically, Hellwind Inferion and V-Khaoz show a great understanding of how to combine different elements. For example, ‘Veri kirotussa yössä‘ offers a raw black metal vibe where the piercing guitars and the drums meld together, and the keyboards are soaked underneath the majestic parade. There are some elements from their project band Embryonic Slumber. The solemn vocal lines are noteworthy on tracks like ‘The Servant’s Heart‘, having a clear, distinctive style. Nevertheless, everything seems to perfectly flow when the spacey synth offers a cold eerie atmosphere to the awe-inspiring riffs. Every passing moment of this majestic track gives us a notion of V-Khaoz‘s imagination. 

The reverb-heavy guitar work on ‘Journey to the Most High‘ takes a mid-tempo pace melding melancholy lines when the drums shift to rapid speed. ‘Spectral Katharsis‘ keeps the listener in wonderment. The songs are generally succinct, but they also have many aspects: between every track the duo offers plenty of fascinating hooks. ‘The Labyrinth of Sleepless Dead‘ is a theatrically crafted song. The blizzard tone of the guitars and the shimmering synth lend a backdrop to this chilling symphony. From its dreary opening ‘Spectral Katharsis‘ steeps in frosty tremolo-picked riffs where the dense guitars, keyboards and menacing vocals add to the intergalactic maelstrom.

The Emperor-esque riffing style evokes memories of the past bygone. Olio Tähtien Takana gives a lesson on how to achieve an epic orchestral style of black metal. A sophisticated layering of the synth works in tandem with the cold focused riffs, thus creating a melancholic vibe. Therefore, the third effort evokes the landmark albums of Norwegian black metal majesty in its true essence! 

‘Ego Aeternum‘ ignites like a blazing star and begins with the drums maintaining a fast-paced tempo, giving us a final foray in their journey to space. The blazing guitars add aggression while the synth creates a dark and subtle layer of textures that expands on the final track ‘Outro – Into the Everlasting Shadow‘ and serves as an ambient, atmospheric closure. Olio Tähtien Takana’s third album is a hidden gem of beauty and majesty. This is highly recommended for fans of Emperor, Limbonic Art and Odium.  

Release Date: October 29th, 2021
Label: Avantgarde Music
Tracklist:

  1. Intro – Enter the Maw of the Souls
  2. Towards the Dying Moon
  3. Excrucior
  4. A Sorcery Written in Stars
  5. Prophecies of Pandemonium
  6. Veri kirotussa yössä
  7. The Servant’s Heart
  8. Journey to the Most High
  9. The Labyrinth of Sleepless Dead
  10. Spectral Katharsis
  11. Ego Aeternum
  12. Outro – Into the Everlasting Shadow

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music10/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics9/10
  • Production9/10
  • Artwork10/10
  • Originality9/10
9.4Olio Tähtien Takana’s third album is a hidden gem of beauty and majesty. This is highly recommended for fans of Emperor, Limbonic Art and Odium.
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