“The Catalyst Vol. 1: Control”

By Dr. Abner Mality

This Finnish band was apparently one of the first to combine black metal with electro/industrial music in the late 90’s. They released one album in the early 2000’s and promptly broke up. According to their press, their return has been greatly anticipated by many.

Not sure about that, but the tunes on “Catalyst Vol. 1…” owe a lot more to industrial dance than to black metal. Not that there aren’t blast beats and harsh vocals here, but the base seems to lean overwhelmingly to late 90’s electro-rock. I actually like both types of music but the mix here is pretty uneasy and gets tiresome after a while. I can listen to “Rabid” (Dogs of Church and State), “You Stop You Die” and “I Am the Catalyst” and not retain much about them. It’s the kind of music that would play during the club scene in “The Crow”…loud, pounding, kind of mindless. The songs “Grey” and “Osiris” intrigue me the most with their unusual rhythms and hard beats. The black metal is there, but not in ascendancy and one look at Diablerie’s band photo shows some guys that look more like Gravity Kills than Marduk.

Not really a bad album, but kind of a faceless one despite its aggression. Not an essential purchase.