Tag Archives: The Catalyst


BornBroken Is Broken, But Is It Fixed?



I recently reviewed BornBroken’s debut album, The Healing Powers of Hate, which I absolutely loved. As such, it comes as a great disappointment to learn that due to personal reasons vocalist Jesus Anzola Salazar has had to leave the band.

However, things are not yet finished for BornBroken. The Montreal-based band has already found a replacement vocalist from their local scene. Matt Bailie, formerly of The Catalyst, will take over on the mic starting July 12th.

Guitarist Mike Decker has issued the following statement:

“We had come to a pass in the road; Jesus had some tough life decisions, which came down to no longer being able to sing for BornBroken. We have had two great years with Jesus and recorded a stellar debut CD. We wish him the best in his future projects and health. Thanks for everything! To all our fans, this bump in the road came with a glimmer of hope at the end. BornBroken was able to quickly fill the empty spot in the lineup and is happy to announce The Catalyst’s ex-frontman, Matt Bailie, as the new singer. We will debut our live show with Matt on July 12th in Montreal at Foufounes Electriques supporting The Agonist.”

Matt Bailie also stated:

“I would like to thank Mike, Simon, Tommy, and Joe for the opportunity to once again destroy and dominate on stage. BornBroken has big things planned for the not so distant future and I am glad to be a part of it. This is a new chapter for me musically and I personally cannot wait to unleash our music upon the masses, “Hear our cries… the Broken shall rise.”

I’ve also covered The Catalyst, and to be perfectly honest I didn’t like them. Since the two bands have distinctive musical styles, I’ll reserve any prejudgment until I see Bailie play with BornBroken. I’m hoping that he doesn’t influence the band to change direction toward a more Death-oriented sound. That would be a shame.

I’m hoping it works out. History has proved that it can work out when a new band loses the original singer early on: Iron Maiden and Killswitch Engage come to mind immediately.

If you happen to be in the Montreal area on Jully 12th, make sure to check out BornBroken as they open for The Agonist at Foufounes Electriques.

Rock Hard \m/

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Heavy MTL – Day 2 – Even Better Than Day 1

Kind of had a great start to this day with the news that Amy Winehouse had passed away… too soon?

Day 2 at Heavy MTL saw a reprieve in the temperature and stale air thanks to a nice breeze; however, the breeze meant you caught a whiff of some stank body odor a bit more often.

The beer was still fairly priced, but the donkey dick they called hot dogs and placentas they called hamburgers were still over priced. Quebec’s favorite heart-stopping food, poutine, was cold and horrible (unless you got it from zee smoked foods – then you had shards of pork mixed in with the sauce, but then it was like eight bucks). And I still maintain that if Jägermeister was a major sponsor, they should have had the Jäger girls walking around giving away free shots or, at the very least, let us grab them from their cleavage with our mouths – there’s always next year, gals.

Some of the highlights during Heavy MTL Day 2 include Morbid Angel performing their only North American date this year, Annihilator performing “King of the Kill,” Anthrax with Joey Belladonna, Children of Bodom, As I Lay Dying, and DevilDriver (I have no idea why they were on the small stage – they’re big enough and good enough to play one of the main stages). As you can see, except for a few exceptionally standout performance on Day 1, Day 2 at Heavy MTL was a superior day.

Surprise Performance of the day


girlschoolLike yesterday’s Unearth, Girlschool was the first band to catch my ear (it would have been Times of Grace had we not been interviewing Martin Mendez during their set). They have a great ‘70s-era glam sound in the vein of The Runnaways. For old-school chicks they rocked it and blasted their way through some of their most popular material, including: Yeah Right, Future Flash, Race with the Devil, and Emergency.

Best Performance of the day


OpethDeath growls, straight vocals, near-symphonic music, heavy grooves, crunch guitars, wicked bass lines, a blend of evil and inspirational sounds, and a sense of humor. How does that work in a progressive death metal band?

When Opeth plays, the venue their at gets transfixed. Yes, they’re that good. And when Mikael Åkerfeldt delivers between songs his personality is charming, sincere, and fun. Before their last song, “Hex Omega,” Mikael admitted that “No one likes to hear this song, but we’re gonna fucking play it anyway.” You have to love how true they are to themselves – plus they’re family men who don’t give into the conventions of their industry.

Best-Sounding Performance of the day


motorheadAdmittedly, I’m not all that familiar with Motörhead – I know, turn in my metal badge – but that only makes me unbiased when I say that Motörhead’s show was, without a doubt, the best-sounding performance.

Honestly, I don’t know how Lemmy is still alive – drinking like a fish and smoking like a chimney at his age, and still sounding awesome on stage. For a three-piece, the fact that they sounding so good is yet another testament to how good they are. It was total perfection, reproducing their studio sound on a live stage.

Quebec Band of the day

The Catalyst

The CatalystWe saw these guys a few months ago and were even more impressed by them at Heavy MTL. There was lots of bass, an unrelenting pace, booming death growls, and much more coming from The Catalyst. I said it last time, and I’ll say it again, these guys are among the heaviest bands around.

Best Stage Presence of the day


kissDespite getting older and less agile on stage, KISS is still KISS and they rarely disappoint. Though the outdoor venue limited what they could do, there were still kick-ass drum and guitar solos, and Gene Simmons still breathed fire and spit blood. After they left the Heavy MTL stage, they treated fans to a 15-minute fireworks display. Totally awesome, but KISS was still out of place with the lineup there that day.

Embarrassment of the day

I could go two ways with this. I can either do as I did in yesterday’s Heavy MTL Day 1 review and call out a band who sucked or shouldn’t have been there or I can call out some idiotic and sad parenting skills. I’m opting for the latter.

So, there I was enjoying the KISS show with a couple colleagues/friends, when half way through the set they tell me that they’re going to take off in order to avoid the rush. I’m fine with that and hang out in the dense crowd for about another 20 minutes before moving to the outskirts of the crowd where it’s a bit thinner and easier to move about. So, standing there I see a dad holding his 5-year-old sons hand walking toward me. As he approaches, I can see that dad is also clutching two of those aluminum-style beer bottles close to his chest. I also noticed a slight stagger or wobble in dad’s step. Clearly he’s had a few too many. As they pass by, I keep watching and at one point dad nearly tumbles on top of his son. Good thing his son was there because he quickly raised his other hand to steady dad. Then, the saddest part, I could see the sons lips mouth, “Dad, are you OK?” And dad just grasped his son’s hand even more firmly as he stumbled into the distance and out of sight.

Yes, I considered approaching dad and saying something, but decided not too as it could have made the situation worse and more traumatizing for the boy.

Sad? Yes. Pathetic? Yes. Child services? No doubt in the near future.

I can’t imagine the memories and scars this kid is going to have.

Reunion Band of the day

Diamond Head

diamond headI practically had to drag my friends over to the small stage to see Diamond Head, and when we took a seat on the lawn in the back, that’s when I told them that this band was a huge influence on such bands as Metallica and Megadeth. Though they looked like members of some suburban-dad garage band, they sounded fantastic. Fans were treated to such classics as “Helpless” and “Am I Evil?” We were also promised that we wouldn’t have to wait another 35 years to see them again.

So, just like having seen Morbid Angel’s only North American stop this year, we get bragging rights for seeing Diamond Head.

Heavy MTL 2011

Photo Credit: Charles William Pelletier - Heavy MTL 2011


The Catalyst Are The Biggest Thing In Metal

the catalyst

Credit: The Catalyst

We here at Yell! Magazine were invited to the official album launch party for The Catalyst’s debut alum, Origins, and all we can say is these big-ass motherfuckers consume a stage and a venue like we’ve rarely seen.

As the evening progressed, each band got better and more aggressive (with the exception of Dush, who tended to perform more for the point-and-shoot camera than for the audience, and that chick lead singer… what fucking rock of desperation did she crawl out from under?) while the audience grew in numbers and in aggression.

The title of this review might be misleading (and it’s intended to be so) since we obviously know that The Catalyst have a ways to go before they become the biggest thing in metal – and even if they do everything right, it’s still a long shot. The point here is that these guys, with the exception of Teo on drums, are massive. Let’s just say that I would not want to run into these guys in a dark alley after drunkenly stumbling out of a bar. Seeing them reminded me of the line in the Guns N’ Roses song “Get in the Ring”: “And in the corner, weighting at 850 pounds…” except these are only four guys, whereas the Gunners at the time were like, what, 10?

The Catalyst

But physical mass isn’t the only reason The Catalyst are Big – they also have a big sound. Sure, stage mobility would have been an issue for the most diminutive of bands, but these guys looked like sharks in a kiddie pool, which their massive and aggressive sound only emphasized. Teo was buried behind his kit while the guitarist (Graham McDonagh) and bass player (Mike Marino) were locked on opposite sides of the stage with Matt Bailie delivering hell’s scream from center stage, but that didn’t stop this foursome from showing that they’re masters of their craft.

One of the few things missing from the live performance, which is present on the studio recording (produced by J-F Fortin, known for Neuraxis and Anonymous, and mixed by Alan Douches, known for Chimaira and Hatebreed), is that powerful bass blast that you feel down below and gets you in your bowels. The other thing that’s missing is a breather for fans, and this is also an issue on Origins; there’s no slow, sludgy track to give listeners a chance to catch their breath and reflect on some of the heavier material they’ve just heard. Even the most extreme of metal fans appreciates a moment.

One of the highlights of the metal mania was when vocalists Matt McGachy of Cryptopsy and James Arsenian of Endast joined The Catalyst to bring the set to a screaming close. Hey, powers are in threes, just ask The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Rock Hard!