'Cataract' is album number five for these Swiss metal-core thrashers. The band has been around for ten years chocking out slabs of Slayer versus Hatebreed. Their last album, 'Kingdom' was critically acclaimed, however, the only problem with an acclaimed album is writing a follow up. The big question is, has Cataract decided to stick to what they do best or have they spread their wings slightly. To their fans delight, probably, they've stuck to their formula and made this self-titled disc just as brutal and as nasty as any of its predecessors.
The band's influences are sometimes extremely obvious. 'Blackest Hour' could have been stolen from Kerry King's pocket, and as a result works the best on this album. It's more thrash than 'core' and suits the band and probably the ever changing music scene more so than any other track on the album. It has that epic flow about it helped along with a tasty riff at the beginning.
Unfortunately the whole experience is a little too predictable considering the metal core scene has come and gone (or going). You know what you're going to get before putting the CD on. A heavy production, lots of chugging and an overdose of monotone, tiresome shouting. I have reviewed many albums similar to this one in my time with Room Thirteen and it does have that 'heard it all before' feel about it. There's little imagination or boundary stretching on offer and because of this it becomes increasingly dull on repeated listens.
Don't get me wrong, there are some good moments on 'Cataract'. 'Deathwish' is a likable tune with a good rhythm guitar line and tasty solo. 'Burn At The Stake' has a Hatebreed style break down plonked right in the middle of it. You knew it was going to happen, but it's delivered with aplomb and sounds great. 'Doomed Steps' is also a pretty decent tune, but it's surrounded by songs that fail to get the blood pumping, which is probably one the thing they're designed to do.
If you’re a fan of really heavy music and always on the look out for the next chunk of noise to fill your void then this could be worth your time. It certainly isn't a bad album, and when it turns its hand to brutal thrash the results are impressive. But it's the metal core element of Cataract's music that lets this release down. Not only is metal core on its way out, but it was never that great in the first place, and any band gracing its fading wake need to work out what the future holds for them before its too late.