With Triumph Comes Loss

I am certain that up until this point in time, I would never, ever consider using the words ‘tough’ and ‘Swiss’ in the same sentence, but the latest burly offering from Switzerland’s Cataract has prompted the impossible.

After the solid but more metalcore laced Great Days of Vengeance album and Martyr’s Melodies EP, Swiss straightedge warriors Cataract spent their off-season pumping iron in the gym loading up with Androgen and the result is this uber tough metallic hardcore offering that comes across more like Terror, A Perfect Murder or Bury Your Dead instead of their prior At The Gates-core.

With a bull necked, thick veined approach that forsakes almost all melody in favor of a chugging mid-paced ferocity, Cataract’s new found toughness relies on a healthy doses of pummeling breakdowns and beefy Slayerish riffing, all amid the usual social-political rants shouted by Fedi in the usual hardcore sneer. The now popular Tue Madsen provides the gnarly low end production and biting guitars in crystal clear fashion, providing suitable girth to the large amount of breakdowns. Hardly genre defining but stout enough to appeal to the bandanna toting, tribal tattooed Hatebreed crowd, With Triumph delivers a chest swelling opus of pure machismo and anarchy rife rants on the state of the world.

The faster, more urgent tracks never cross into pure melodic metalcore as they have in the past, but gutsier, more straight forward, shorter assaults as shown by album opener ‘Killing Tool’, ‘Skies Grow Black’, ‘Reborn From Fire’, the blistering ‘God Evil’ and ‘Hallow Horns’. Each gallop with energized hardcore gusto and thrashy riffs, however, Cataract’s strength is their slower, more anthemic, and fleshed out tracks that chug with the weight of a socially conscious steamroller. First to shake your being is the massive ‘Nothing’s Left’, and the rumbling ‘Vanished in the Dark’, as they both stomp with musical density and lyrical depth. ‘As We Speak’ seems to be the albums rallying point with rousing, fist clenching chorus. ‘Fuel’ is the albums slowest cut that pounds with a slow, rhythmic, hammer on anvil pace that’s teeth rattling if generic.

None of the material on the album contains anything remotely close to acoustic breaks or interludes; it just pummels from beginning to end without mercy or regard for your eardrums. Even the seven minute album ending title track with its death metal inspired opening never feels the need to flesh out its deep message with forced intellectual smatterings, as it just throbs with menace and anger at the state of our beleaguered planet. The track is a huge undertaking that perfects the mix of message and music with a cripplingly heavy gait and thoughtful lyrical stance.

While Metal Blade seems to be snatching up every band on the plant that even hints at having ‘core’in its central theme, Cataract actually come across as a straight edge, purist act that will benefit from their jump from Lifeforce to Metal Blade by virtue of an important message wrapped in an angry, seething hardcore shell. A pretty impressive album that shows the Swiss are capable of more than cheese and fine chocolate.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 7th, 2004


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