KATELLA never made it to the premier league. They managed to release a demo, an EP (which is now sold for about 150€) and a full-length album before disbanding in 2011. They were short-lived but they did managed to make an impact in the underground scene, since nowadays acquiring their albums might prove to be an almost impossible process. Yet fear not since the hounds of Arkeyn Steel Records have managed to come to an agreement with the band and a collection that contains their recorded material will be out soon. So let’s get to it.
Indisputably the most interesting stuff in the CD is the “Shades of Grey” EP. Kicking off with “Blue Curtain”, a song that came directly from the mid 80’s, the band shows that it has lots of potential. They draw influences from bands like ARMORED SAINT (“Symbol…” era), late ALICE COOPER, TWISTED SISTER, WILD DOGS (“Reign…” era), RIOT (“Restless…” era), early LILLIAN AXE, (heavier moments of) WASP, OMEN (“Escape…” era) and SAVATAGE, with the music being a particular mix of heavy rock with some early progressive transitions, catchy choruses, and deeply inspiring vocals. The band seem to have a perfect balance between heavy songs (“Blue Curtain”, “Sunset Rider”), progressive (“Boundaries of Life” – my favorite song, “Time Catches Up”) and straight heavy rockers (“Beyond the Grey”, “Looking Back”). Both the riffs and the guitar leads are at a very high level and the vocals are both powerful and expressive with a dirty burr tone.
Following up we come across the “Freakshow 47” full-length album which was released in 2000. The band seems to have shifted towards a more modernized sound, yet the album is quite good. The progressive/heavy metal influences are still present but not that dominant since most of the songs are heavily inspired by the 90’s sound.
Even though the album is good, it’s a bit bit uneven since its great moments lie in the more melodic/acoustic songs, like for example the almost flawless power ballad “Wasting Away” the (originally hidden track) “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”, “Scratching at the Surface” or “Shrine” (the best song of the album). However songs like the opening track “Ties That Bind” or “Mary Anne” are too modern for my taste, but still worth checking. The guitars are well played and the vocals retain their dramatic, expressive tone like they did on the EP. Yet I do believe the diversity in the songs’ quality throughout the album makes it lose some of its potential.
The CD reaches its finale with a song from the first demo called “Final Day”. Not much to say here, part that the song is a torpedo of heavy/power metal. The vocals are more high pitched, the riffs are sharper and there are lots of early QUEENSRYCHE / LIZZY BORDEN / VICIOUS RUMORS influences. Needless to say that the song is a killer.
To sum up, I’d say that its a very interesting collection that covers every period of the band. Unfortunately the band never managed to release anything else, yet their legacy will be preserved.
1 – 6: Shades Of Grey (CD 1995)
7 – 17: Freakshow 47 (CD 2000)
18: Taken from “Winds Of Change” (Demo 1990)