CATASTROPHIC - "THE CLEANSING" (METAL BLADE)
A little while ago, Metal Blade announced their signing Catastrophic. Now you may not have heard from this band, indeed it didn't exist until last year I think, but Catastrophic is the band founded by Obituary guitarist (and, as it turns out, main songwriter) Trevor Peres. He is assisted by Pyrexia members Keith DeVito (vox), Chris Basile (gr), Brian Hobbie (br) and Rob Maresca (dr). The aim is the combine extreme death metal with New York style hard core.
"The Cleansing", the result of this unholy union, is not what should have been the new Obituary album. Obituary vocalist John Tardy is too typical for that, and though DeVito's vocals sometimes move within the realm of death-metal-style grunt, his utterings are usually more screamy and an octave or so higher. "The Cleansing" offers two kinds of tracks: death metal, and death metal with more or less hard core influences. The first track, "Hate Trade", is the most Obituary-like song on the album. As is "Enemy", though that one has less of a grunt. "Messiah Pacified" and the title track, as well as "Jesters of the Millennium" and "The Veil" are on the right side of the death metal vs. hardcore border (i.e. the death metal side :-). But some of the other tracks aren't. "Balancing the Furies" is more straightforward and simpler, as is "Lab Rats". "Pain Factor" is the epitome of simple hardcore. Some of the remaining tracks are a mix between the different genres.
Now it probably does not come as a surprise to you that I don't like hardcore. Therefore I don't applaud Catastrophic's album as much as some would, and I continue waiting for news of a new Obituary album. Or, as the case may be, news of their split.
Written January 2001
Go to the Official Catastrophic site
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