My first experience with Utah progressive/power metallers Kategory V was their 2004 release 'A New Breed Of Rebellion.' Honestly, this work did not capture my interest. The reasons are long forgotten in obvious ambivalence. Not that this band lacks creativity or talent, I guess it seemed more of the same old stuff. With 2007's 'Hymns Of Dissension' I find myself wondering if I wasn't a bit to quick in my summations. This new work shows more maturity and a subtle tendency towards more melodic heavy metal. Yes, Kategory V's version of metal is still progressive and more on the heavy side. However, I found 'Hymns Of Dissension' far more accessible than any other work and much more pleasing to these metal overloaded ears.
The strength of Kategory V's heavy progressive metal styling is abundantly displayed on the first two tracks 'Listen To You, Listen To Me' and 'Workforce.' The latter drives along with some power metal pressure, a subtle mixture of classic heavy metal melody and vocalist Lynn Allers demonstrates great strength and range. When I got to 'Do Feelings Remain,' I knew all was not the same as the past. The undercurrent of very heavy metal is accentuated by some blistering guitar work and a superb vocal arrangement. What follows from this is an abundant combination of aggressive and potent progressive/power metal. In some sense it's much of the same until you hear a tracks like 'Apologetic Heart,' 'Kings Of The Valley,' with some great classic metal riffs, or 'Can You Hear Them,' a moving song and the nearest thing to quiet you will hear on this album.
Generally, I was impressed with 'Hymns Of Dissension,' but not significantly overwhelmed. There still is a certain monotony here, a predictability that is Kategory V. 'No Matter What' is a perfect example of this. My other difficulty was with mix, specifically Lynn Allers's vocals. It sounds like he is constantly being trampled upon by the music. Except for 'Can You Hear Them' his vocals are muffled and cloudy. Still, in the end, I liked this album. If you like your progressive metal heavy and more on the power metal side, you'll find 'Hymns of Dissension' very satisfying.
- Craig Hartranft
Having not been significantly impressed with Kategory V's former works (I passed over 2006's 'The Rising Anger), I still keep my eye on them. I decided to give their latest release 'Hymns Of Dissension' a new and honest appraisal hoping to ignore my past bias. This is a solid work of heavy progressive metal leaning towards power metal. However, what made it more interesting to me was the (very) subtle doses of classic melodic metal throughout. And that's a bright addition. Otherwise, this is still predictable Kategory V.
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