Katana Cartel – The Sacred Oath (Album Review)

Katana Cartel

Katana Cartel started its musical journey in 2012, making music that is a blend of heavy metal and hard rock. Their debut album is titled The Sacred Oath and seems to take on the theme of war much like on their 2016 EP War Part 1.

 The band lists Metallica as one of their influences and it is very evident that this is the case when you listen to the first track Air Raid. With some really heavy and quick guitars, good thick bassline and nice energetic drums and perhaps the best part the vocals which take the song into another gear. The chorus slows things down a little and becomes a bit more melodic, which provides good variance to the track.

Luckily it isn’t just the first track that’s great, Bang your head and Night Town keep the good tracks coming. With again some great melodic choruses, and catchy riffs.

Dylan Reeves and Robert Georgievski do a good job switching up their sounds, using a good combination of heaviness and speed but also brighter and crisper tones. I also really enjoy the use of layered vocals and vocal harmonies the band uses like on Fragile Denial which to me make their sound more unique than other heavy metal bands. Drummer John Price keeps up with the songs well and has songs where the mix highlights the drums more like in The art of self Destruction. I enjoy having the drums being more prominent in this way as it suits the song and gives a different sound to the other tracks. Matt Ilentile on bass does a nice job however as is the case with some metal it does get lost in the mix at times, though it no doubt provides a much fuller sound to the songs. Last but certainly not least Steven Falkingham or Fluffy does a stellar job on vocals, adding a lot of character and life to the lyrics of the songs. He has a great clean sound but can dirty it up a bit when he needs to.

Not every song hits it out of the park, however, as though they have a good sound, sometimes they rely on that same sound too much. Dime a dozen and The Battle don’t provide much that previous songs hadn’t already, following a similar structure to other songs but not doing enough different. The vocals at times though fantastic can have a similar delivery with the way some of the songs are written.

I would like to see more variation in the delivery, however, others may not feel the same as me.

Despite the negatives, this is a really good debut album.

Their songwriting shows that the band clearly possess a lot of talent and I’m excited to see what they come out with next as they continue to develop their sound. None of the tracks on this album are bad, so if you’re a fan of Metallica or just a general metal lover I’d definitely recommend giving the band a listen.

Katana Cartel: Facebook

Release Year: 2021
Label: self-released
Category: Album
Country: Australia

Reviewed by Billy Poulopoulos