Album Title: 
Cathodic Black
Release Date: 
Monday, July 8, 2013
Review Type: 

Majalis (named after the flower?) were originally founded as an In Mourning side-project (Björn Pettersson and Tobias Netzell; the latter was also formerly active in e.g. Volturyon or October Tide), but it was a rather silently-existing act with only few activity. Last year, the duo recruited two friends, Jonas Martinsson and Daniel Jansson, and they recorded the three tracks for this debut-EP, Cathodic Black. The stuff was recorded at different locations (Studio 125, Shame Head Studio, and Vintage House Studio, for drums, guitars / keyboards, and vocals / bass respectively), and Björn and Tobias took care of mix and mastering themselves.

Cathodic Black (duration of the three hymns: 25:25 minutes) opens with Rusting Sun, which starts with a short bleak piano-intro, before turning into a pretty specific, own-faced form of melodic, sober, atmospheric Black / Doom / Death Metal. The In Mourning roots are undeniably present, but Majalis are less ‘progressive’ and technical. This project rather is a haunting, gloomy and emotive outlet with a subtle Post-Rock attitude, that will appeal to fans of Katatonia, October Tide, Swallow The Sun and Cult Of Luna, for injecting their stuff with some grooving-sludgy riffs as well. Even though the totality comes with a very specific sound and approach, there is a nice equilibrium in between equally-parted doses of Melancholic Black and traditional Doom-Death Metal, eerie Post-Rock and melodic Rock / Metal in general, with at the one hand lots of variation (especially the structures, balancing in between the extremes of mournful melancholy and angry Doom-outbursts), and at the other a constantly present characterisation that sets this project apart from the members’ main band. But in any case it is a bull’s eye hitter.