March 17, 2024

Catalysis is not a name I am aware of and melodic death/thrash metal is not my ‘go to’ choice when I am looking for something heavy and hard hitting but that does not mean that I can’t appreciate a little death metal every now and again. So, step forward Dundee band Catalysis which formed in 2016 with Betrayer being their second record and it may be a self-released affair but they seem to me to have all the requisites than record labels should definitely be on the lookout for.

Catalysis also seems to be slowly making a name for themselves having been named Best Metal Act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and also performing on the New Blood stage at the Bloodstock festival. They put out their debut album Connection Lost in 2020 when the whole world was in pandemic lockdown which obviously did not allow touring to promote it which held them back a little but they are now making up for lost time with this new monumental slab of screaming thrash metal.

The music is phenomenal being a thrilling composite of thrash and progressive metal which increases the interest level immensely and the vocals are deep, down and dirty but just the right side of death metal growls which puts the band very much in Machine Head, Lamb Of God and Trivium territory. Col MacGregor is the deliverer of said vocals which are infused with power and passion with Drew Cochrane on lead guitar/vocals and Sean Ramson on rhythm guitar/vocals and they combine perfectly with some great rhythm work combining perfectly with the hard chunky riffs and searing guitar breaks. Much of the power and drive comes from the hard-working Paul Edwards on bass and the immense Calum Rennie on drums which shakes your foundations almost to destruction.

The songs are intense and in your face which is exactly what they should be and are all short, sharp adrenaline bursts that keep you hooked and enthralled. The album closes perfectly with a duet with Amy Wilkinson of Trauma Bonds which is almost orchestral in approach and possibly hints at future developments for the band as the introduction of clean female vocals most definitely gives Catalysis an extra dimension.

An independent self-release it may be but the overall feel is that of a big budget record from a major label and hints at just how far this talented team can go.

Betrayer

  1. Kingmaker (4:47)
  2. Gone (3:11)
  3. Endless (5:09)
  4. The Bottom Of The World (3:34)
  5. Panopticon (4:12)
  6. Mea Culpa (4:53)
  7. Gallows (4:21)
  8. Overlord (3:41)
  9. Never Unseen (3:07)
  10. Another Version Of The Truth (feat Amy Wilkinson) (4:49)