Catastrophic
Pathology of Murder

Back in 2001, The Cleansing made semi waves in the death metal genre being a project involving Obituary’s Trevor Peres and Pyrexia’s Keith Devito and Rob Marseca, and with both band’s at the time being on hiatus, the album probably got more attention and credit than it really deserved.

So now on Napalm Records, (which goes to show how interest in the band may have waned seeing as Napalm is hardly a US death metal powerhouse), Catastrophic return sans Peres and other Pyrexia member Chris Basile but add Brian Hobbie of Internal Bleeding to the mix. The result is exactly what you’d expect from such a line up of current and former Pyrexia and Internal Bleeding members; hardcore based death metal.

Basically sound like Pyrexia’s System of the Animal or Internal Bleeding’s Onward to Mecca, Pathology of Murder is basically heavy hardcore with blastbeats and death metal themes. Devito’s hardcore shouts and lower register grunts are the most responsible for the hardcore tones, but the music itself does little to truly make the band a ‘real’ death metal band, and with out Peres to add some filth, the more hardcore driven NY attitude is more prevalent than on The Cleansing.

For what it is though, Pathology of Murder is acceptable, there’s some stout grooves and solid moments of lurching heft, but when you put Pathology Of Murder next the likes of recent releases from say Decrepit Birth, Brain Drill or Hate Eternal, it’s simplistic, hardcore lean and lack of truly devastating death metal becomes painfully evident. Also, the bands handicap is two fold; while unable to compete with true death metal tenacity, Catastrophic are simply not heavy or brutal as some hardcore bands like Liferuiner, Sleeping Giant or Built Upon Frustration or other hardcore tinged death metal like Despised Icon. They are sort of a half hearted in-between act.

That being said, you probably won’t listen to this in you are craving technical savagery, but crave a more easily digestible form of noise. Tracks like ‘My Crucible”, “Healthy Dose of Hate”, and “Apathy’s Warm Embrace” rumble and lurch with gusto and even standout “Splendor’s Calling” has some surprising melody and chord progression that hint at some ability above and beyond stomp and romp hardcore/death metal.

Ultimately though, Catastrophic are a pretty average act that will get lost in early 2008’s torrent of stunning death metal that it simply can’t compete with their peers at this point in their career, and much like Pyrexia seemed destined to simply be a hardcore band that’s wants to be death metal, and death metal wont let them.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 15th, 2008

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