The debut "Halls Of Frozen North" was perceived in the "Oh, DIMMU BORGIR have success"-time and had the suiting sound. "Mourning Crimson" had been a tad heavier, but also weaker. Therefore I didn't expect too much of "Eternal Winter's Prophecy" and look there, I am surprised - positively!
I had expected more or less standard-Melodic Black Metal, but the Finnish band has made a big step forward in songwriting, putting more emphasis on epic melody-lines and a well balanced mixture between heaviness and melody, where the almost omnipresent keyboard fits in very nicely.
Tracks like "Gate Of Anubis", "Soror Mystica", "Dawn Of The Chosen World" or "Eternal Winter's Prophecy" need not hide compared to the genre-greats, quite the contrary, with their variety, melody and epics they set some sparkling lights in the dark caverns of Black Metal. You really have to wait and see what the leaders of the pack are able to create, because "Eternal Winter's Prophecy" is a big sign of live and sets an exclamation mark in this already dwindling genre!
Who still likes epic, melodic Black Metal might very well find a new favourite in CATAMENIA's new one.