"Lapis Lazuli"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Hailing from Brazil, Kattah tries to add the flavors of exotic lands to their brand of power metal. They are obviously greatly influenced by countrymen Angra but to that classic style they add a strong ethnic element that often smacks of the Middle East. No, we don't have another Nile on our hands....this is far more melodic.

Kattah starts out very strongly but they can't manage to sustain that early quality throughout the whole record. They certainly have the sound of a world class band...the production here is done by no less than Roy Z, who has worked with Halford, Dickinson and Helloween. Everything sounds rich, clean and full. The vocalist has a powerful voice that's definitely in the vein of Bruce Dickinson and Angra's Edu Falaschi but there's some odd phrasing that occasionally throws things out of whack. During the early metallic tracks like "Behind The Clay", "Apocalypse" and "Rebirth of th Pharoahs", the band's enthusiasm for their material is infectious and the way they interweave Middle Eastern riffs and solos into the metal is fun and entertaining. The peak track is "The Hidden Voice", which is fast, melodic and on target like a laser.

Oddly enough, it's the title track that signals the album's decline. This song kicks off a stretch of more balladic material where the ethnic sounds just aren't as convincing. By the time Kattah gets to "You Will Never Be Dead", they regress to the point of cliche Euro-style power metal. But they make a very nice recovery with the last song, a strong cover of the magnificent AOR classic "Last Chance" by Shooting Star, which has always been a favorite track.

So something of a mixed bag from Kattah, but even the lesser tracks are done with a lot of class and talent. This band is certainly capable something special.