Kingdom (Metal Blade)
by Martin Popoff
What is one to say? Like the criminally under-rated God Dethroned and Carnal Forge, Switzerland’s Cataract are out there in Europe making metal of a superb quality, using modern toolings, only a smidge of modern styles, anchoring their imposing sound in a complex miasma of death metal movements. Slayer is the obvious platform (with the intro to “On This Graveyard” being quite nearly a direct quote), even if this eight year old, four record band is caffeinated by the impatient high-concept riffing of metalcore and the attendant screaming bloody hair-pulled vocals. Tue Madsen’s production cooks the drums to a hard, dried-out crisp, perfectly tempered for the band’s quick-thrashing sensibilities and their doom-laden King and Hanneman circle-around riffs. Frustrating – one could rate Kingdom an 8 or even a 9, but should, responsibly, hold back due to the band’s inability (unwillingness) to break any sort of new ground, or indeed push forth persona, despite an unarguable sort of thrash perfection.