Catalysis – Catalysis 2018 (EP)

Release date: 14th December 2018 || Genre: Metal  || Label: Self-released 

Strap yourselves in! Dundee’s Catalysis are back in the saddle, and ready to deliver a crushing blow! This self-titled EP is a significant level-up from 2017’s Into The Unknown, on most fronts. The production is absolutely top tier stuff, unsurprising with the professional hands of Aborted‘s Mendel bij de Leij at the helm. The songwriting has strapped on a bigger pair of boots, and delivers blow after blow to the sensitive areas. These two factors alone have raised the bar for the Dundee metallers, but they lay the groundwork for an even more noticeable upgrade.

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With previous vocalist Sam Field stepping down to focus on vocal coaching and a now heavier workload in Black Blood, there could have been a gap in the Catalysis plan. By fortuity or forward planning – maybe both – they have sourced a fantastic in-house solution. From among their ranks, bassist, Col Macgregor (ex-Dirty Judas), has stepped up to the plate. After hearing bits and pieces live and teased online, it seemed obvious this set-up was going to appeal, but listening to the full release has been an eye-opener. Not only do the growls and gutturals take things into a new league, the melodic vocals (not always my favourite feature in metal) are lifted like never before.

Naturally, you can still hear the Machine Head love, but Catalysis have hit on the magic formula which gives them their own, fresh, strong identity. I think maybe they know this, hence the self-titling to mark a clean-slate phase of renewal.  Even if that’s not the case, this release is definitely something worth marking as an achievement. They have clearly worked their collective butts off to deliver something special, and succeeded.

Grade: A

Slow Dragon


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