It’s taken KARKADAN a while until they came around with a new album, because their previous effort “Eternal Black Reflections” is building year 1999, so you definitely can’t accuse them of exaggerated haste. “Utmost Schizophrenia“ sees several changes in the line-up and musically they also seem to have progressed.
“Seems“, because I do not know the debut of the band and Josh’s review is my only point of reference. Anyways, KARKADAN manage to bring us a surprisingly original sound in the midst of the release flood, with a mix of Black and Death Metal (mostly in Robby Beyer’s vocals) and a big portion of Heavy Metal influences, which does not seem like the best condition for a Nobel prize for originality, but when you hear it, then you will get a different impression.
The in average more than six minute long songs take a very good middle way between quite simple rhythms and still enough demand to avoid any kind of boredom, opener “Passing Away“ combines the mentioned elements very well and the very melodic riffing here and there bears some old KATATONIA in it. Also in “On Your Knees“ we see this, just a bit more melancholic and darker.
“Faint“ then blasts you off your chair, furious blast beats devastate your speakers, just to alternate with calm parts and riffy mid-tempo. “The Journey“ once more combines the almost hypnotic riffing with mid-paced double-bass, which every now and then speed up, before “Sea Of Bitterness“ shows itself very variable and combines the melancholic guitars and melodies with driving double-bass.
The production gives the whole thing the necessary volume, while the artwork makes a rather, hm, veiled impression, well, definitely not the usual stuff. Oh yes, computer owners also get a video for “The Ancient Times“ off the “The Lost Secrets“ EP, which fits the song very well.
A very strong album of a band that successfully avoids any of the usual categorisations and should appeal to fans of both camps (Heavy and Black Metal), if the first ones can cope with the harsh vocals that can be found in every song. Definitely far above average. (Online September 29, 2004)