Album review: Catalysis – Betrayer

It will take something pretty special for me to come out of my reviewing retirement and ladies and gentlemen, this is special. You should know by now that Catalysis hail from Dundee and like to play their metal with a lot of groove and harmony mixed with thrashier and sometimes death metal in places. That’s the point though; Catalysis mix it up throughout this album and you have no idea what the next song brings and that simply is the beauty of it. If you want to know more about the record, watch the in depth interview here where you will find out everything you need to know about Catalysis and Betrayer.

Catalysis have been prolific songwriters in recent years and have so much material released in the last couple of years its truly frightening, culminating in Betrayer which is being released on December 15th. The sound on this album is simply superb and with the acquisition of Hans Petter Solen from Norwegians Once Awake to mix and master this record, it simply is huge. For an underground band to have this sound must surely push them up to the next level but only if the songs live up to the hype. Thankfully, there is no need to worry with any aspect of the new album and Betrayer will certainly get them noticed much further afield than they already are.

Quite simply, if you like your metal with groove mixed with harmonies and building up to a noise where you simply lose oneself, then you will have a field day with this album. Catalysis have already released three singles from this album, namely “Gone”, “Mea Culpa” and “Gallows” and that should have already told you the direction that the band are going. Personally as I am a death metal fan, the best of the three songs for me was “Gallows” due to the almost growling vocals of Colin and in parts Drew. This a metal anthem of the highest order and will be sure to get your ass in the pit, raising those horns and banging your head to. “Gone” and “Mea Culpa” are bangers in their own right as indeed is the rest of the album.

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Other highlights for me include “Never Unseen” that brings out the thrash in the band and once again with their anthemic one liners that will be sure to get you shouting them in unison with the band live. With its huge thrash riffs and pounding drums break into a more melodic metal chorus that just puts a smile on this old metalheads face. Circle pits will be aplenty with this song live and again, Catalysis know exactly when to insert their harmonies in the song. Other highlights for me is the crushing “Overlord” that has everything that is all good with metal these days mashed into the one song.

As I have already stated, death metal is my thing and as soon as I heard “Kingmaker”, that was it. My room was trashed. Blast beats, down tuned guitars, growls, harmonies and guitar leads from Drew once again just nailing perfection in every way. I cannot wait to play this song on my radio show and I am looking forward to seeing drummer Calum break a sweat playing this live at their album launch on December 16th at Dundee Beat Generator. I will be watching you Calum!

While having influences from Machine Head, Chimaira and Devil Driver mixed with some melodic death metal a-la In Flames, At the Gates and Night in Gales, you hear each and every one of them in each of the ten tracks on offer here. This album simply will be huge and maybe its a shame that it was not released earlier on in the year as I am sure it would be on people’s album of the year lists. Well done to the boys from Dundee for continuing to fly the flag high for Scottish metal, which for me is on a huge high at the moment.

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Kingmaker is out on December 15th

Check out all the bands we review in 2023 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

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