Katahdin is the name of the highest mountain in the state of Maine. Located in Baxter State Park, it was believed by some Native Americans to be the home of the storm god Pamola, deeming it a place to be avoided. Such a name is perfect for a band like Katahdin, and not in the sense that they should be avoided at all. Hailing from various parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, this band’s sound isn’t what I would call ground breaking, but nonetheless still something that I will be listening to over and over for quite some time.
Pamola is an album that can be thoroughly enjoyed by black metal purists, but they also show a large death metal influence, and even a bit of thrash. I’m definitely seeing a huge Symbolic era Death influence as well which is something that really caught my attention. Another thing that caught my ear is that they don’t concentrate on only screeching high vocals, but also have moments of some good sounding lows that remind me a lot of Decrepit Birth.
The album opens with a very cool intro, with Native American music playing over a thunderstorm and a really cool sounding drum buildup, as if the tribe being studied is getting ready to walk into battle. One last loud thunder strike, and then they immediately kick into “Blood Red Moon.” The next song, titled “The Root of Wind and Storm,” is another perfect example of their sound, with a lot of really cool sounding leads. The solos on the album definitely catch my attention, but not quite for the right reasons. There are just some parts of them that sound like they aren’t quite on key with the rest of the song/solo.
The production is very dirty, which is perfect for their style. The drums sound a little stale in the mix, and I’ve never really been a huge fan of the heavily reverberated drum sound either, but it works for what they’re doing. I am, however, a big fan of the artwork, which shows a Native American style picture of what seems to be half moose, half bird, with the arms of a man, and that unmistakable, quite illegible logo that seems to be a requirement for many black and death metal bands, making it incredibly hard to know what it says unless you already know who the band is.Overall this album is awesome, and a great example of what a good blackened death/thrash band should sound like. Though there are a few things that I feel could use some work or changing around, it’s still something that I’ve found myself listening to a lot and really getting into, and definitely worth looking into no matter what sub genre you’re into. Katahdin is a band that shows lot of promise, and if they keep it up, they definitely have a bright future ahead of them.