CATALYST – A Different Painting For A New World

CATALYST – A Different Painting For A New World



The wide spread rumours of heavy metal supposedly dying vehemently militate against reality and vice versa, especially when it comes to extreme yet melodic metal. Case in point, the French progressive technical death metal quartet Catalyst which consists of Jules Kicka (guitars, vocals), Florian Iochem (guitars), Jefferson Brand (bass) and the fairly fresh addition of Stéphane Petit (2021-drums) who released their 2nd full length (after “The Great Purpose Of The Lords”²⁰¹⁹) last year, a near-masterpiece of epic proportions which brings such icons as Death, Mors Principium Est, Behemoth Obscura or Opeth to mind, and that’s just on the death metal side of this highly eclectic and complex endeavor which, although clearly technically proficient, is full of hooks, clean sung passages a’la Fear Factory or Machine Head and thrashy Slayerish riffs, for one of last year’s biggest late surprises I just could not fail to recognize or review.

I mentioned how complex this music is, indeed, recalling the likes of Ne Obliviscaris in complexity, and half of the 10 song (8 if you don’t count the flamenco-driven bombastic but a superflous intro “Gathering Of New Forces”, which, per usual complaint, should have been a part of track 2 as well as the short instrumental “Peripeteia” which could have introed “The Catalyst’s End”), so then, half of the album are tracks which are not just complex but incredibly catchy to mention just “To Unleash Thy Heinous Fate” and ” The Last Warning” just for starters (literally 2,3 punch) with the former’s opening salvo riff so good it would make Behemoth’s Adam “Nergal” Darski a bit envious, not that slightly inferior “Paragon Of Devastation” is not able to compete with its thrashy “The Power Of I And I” Shadows Fall entrance followed by a “War Ensemble” Slayering you can test both your speakers and earbuds with, which yours truly has done plentifully. The favorite, “Behold Thy Purification” (which is followed by the aforementioned “Peripeteia” instrumental) seems to be the culminating track, evocative of Iron Maiden (a frequent evident guest on this disc) and Alkaloid for the combination of technicality and melodiscism with a progressive flair. However, “The Catalyst’s End” and the gargantuan title track reminiscent of Shores Of Null, are some of the best on the album, especially the closer just unleashes Catalysts’ full creative powers, the album ending in a way that leaves no room for additional touches, similarly to, say, Death’s “Symbolic” or Machine Head’s “The Blackening”.

Fantastic in its technical, melodic and creative aspect, “A Different Painting For A New World” is an immensely satisfying and mature heavy metal sandwich you will consume over and over again each time finding something you missed with the previous spin, from a band barely on their second album and in just sixth year of their existence. It may still be a little rough around the edges but I assure you it is a gem as shiny as that creepy dude looking at you from the cover.

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