Catalyst – The Great Purpose Of The Lords

Formed three years ago in 2016 and subsequently releasing their first EP that very same year, the four piece know as Catalyst from Metz, France (and not the three bands know as Catalyst from the US) emerged onto the scene. A scene that could be plainly described and considered death metal yet it is so much more. There is the aforementioned death and then there is thrash, technical, progressive and modern groove holed up against the wall, waiting for their time that they make their brief to downright lingering appearances.

“If you are a fan of bands such as Nile, Opeth or Death, then our band should be right for you.” Is a direct quote from Catalyst’s Bandcamp website and I would have to say that I mostly agree with that statement. But I also feel like that isn’t really saying enough either, for Catalyst are much much more.

“The Great Purpose Of The Lords” starts out with the track ‘Omnisicient Bodies’. A symphonic, church organ instrumental introduction track that is foreboding and foreshadows the use of similar sounding tones used later, throughout the album.

‘An Unworthy Covenant’ comes next, where it abruptly starts and takes on an epic swing of ten minutes worth of exciting, glorious death metal. Death metal that sounds like it’s been inspired by the band Death and a mix of mid-era and modern Behemoth, sprinkled with a dash of thrash. It comes in with a bang, builds, falls into beauty and rages back up again before fading out in the end.

Only to give way to ‘The Great Purpose Of The Lords’. A true mix of technical, progressive death metal and groove oriented thrash coated death. It rips and tears it’s way through you and leaves you wanting more.

‘First Light’ brings about the second instrumental of this hour long journey. Here we have a lush, gorgeous and beautiful acoustic guitar paired with an assortment of strings that build to its end. Sadly, the placement of this glorious piece is a let down. The build up over the first three tracks is delicious and this beautiful piece so close up in the beginning just seems to halt momentum.

Luckily ‘In Mist We Are Born’ picks that momentum right back up again with it’s very tasty and thrash-tastic opening before ripping into you with a mix of thrash tinged death and some blackened explosions. It rages, it rolls, it rules and completely saves the album after the misstep of the last instrumental. A true banger.

‘Demophobia’ is one of the best thrash based death metal song you will hear for a long, long time. It gallops and swings it’s way right through your soul. Kind of like a nod to the masters of guitar driven, thrash based death metal, Desultory, fucking killer.

Thrash meets Death style technical death and a pretty little interlude in ‘Celestial Resurrection’. This under seven minute mini epic tune takes you for a ride that feels rather enormous and daunting yet it comes and goes before you even notice that you finished the ride.

‘From The Last Sunset…’ is part one in an apparent two song epic. Here we once again hear the Death mixed with mid-era and modern Behemoth, sprinkled with a dash of thrash again and it is glorious.

‘…To Chaos’ is part two (duh). See description above and here you have more of the same.

Next we have another mini epic in ‘The Empire That Failed’. It’s up, it’s down, is great. More progressive, technical death the way that Catalyst does it.

‘The Council’ completes the trilogy of instrumental on “The Great Purpose Of The Lords”. Here we have a combination of the lush acoustic with the symphonics, pulling it all in one sumptuous package. It’s beautiful, it’s short and it ties it all together in the end.

An ending titled ‘For Whom Summons The Dead’ that ties everything together into one outstanding closing track. It’s brutal, epic, gorgeous and vicious. And makes you want more and more, even after the hour run time of this absolute gem of an album.

So, yeah, the album is great. But you know what? So is the band as a whole. The drummer, Paul Loup, is a machine. His speed, intensity and clarity reminds me of Inferno from Behemoth. The vocals, from Jules Kicka, are always on point, be it whatever variation used at said point. The bassist, Jefferson Brand, is like putty: he can mold himself to whatever the song may need. He can lay back in the rhythm or be out front like he’s playing leads. Speaking of leads, wow. The guitarists, Kicka and Florian Iochem, fucking rule; great riffs, stellar rhythms and solos everywhere. Great solos everywhere, not just wankery for wanking same but real fucking solos. To hear real solos, riffs, dual harmonies used properly in really good death metal is just glorious. So, yeah, album fucking rules, well done Catalyst, well done indeed.

Reviewer: Ben Schultz

Aug 15, 2019

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Catalyst – The Great Purpose Of The Lords

review Catalyst - The Great Purpose Of The Lords

1. Omnisicient Bodies
2. An Unworthy Covenant
3. The Great Purpose Of The Lords
4. First Light
5. In Mist We Are Born
6. Demophobia
7. Celestial Resurrection
8. From The Last Sunset...
9. ...To Chaos
10. The Empire That Failed
11. The Council
12. For Whom Summons The Dead


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