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!

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  • CatalystRules!

    Catalyst always puts on a great show. Fuckin fast and heavy!

  • Guest

    The Catalyst are great! But what’s with the asshole comments about Dush. It was the first time I saw them at this show so I can’t really comment about them in detail. But from what I saw, I thought they were decent, just seemed nervous with the lack of eye contact to me. And even if I didn’t like them, why the “what fucking rock of desperation did she crawl out from under?” comment? Just makes YOU sound like the douche here. (no pun intended. Har-har.)

    • YellMagazine001

      I’m not replying for Evil Argento, but I actually did edited out a harsher statement that went along that sentence :-). I was at the show myself, and I did find Mira Solo (I believe it’s her name) was trying way to hard at stage performance, and actually made the band look amaturish. The music itself was OK, but that’s just my opinion. – KH

    • Hey Guest, Evil here. I didn’t intend to come across as an asshole, just as a critic being a critic, which often places us in that category since opinions vary, which is one of the reasons I love music so much… those endless nights debating the relevance or substance of a band, the opposing opinions, etc. Honestly, though, I didn’t care for Dush, and I may have exaggerated the point a bit to drive the point home, but I just wanted to convey my sentiments. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back to the site.

      Rock Hard!

      • Guest

        Hey Evil, thanks for the reply. I think it’s really easy to dismiss my comment as merely a difference of opinion, but that would be missing the point. My point was that although I love the Catalyst, I wish this review was more of a music critique and less of a comment on aesthetics. Check it out above should you no believe me. 2/3 of the article is about their size! The Catalyst is not a gimmick, so 2/3 of a review on their aesthetics is a bit much. Also, I know and love them, but where is the description of their sound? Possible influences based on genre, techniques, etc? Stand out songs? I just would have appreciated more of a music review, is what I’m saying. But, yes, that is just my *opinion*, so take it or leave it 🙂

        • Hey Guest,
          You’re absolutely right, I did focus on the aesthetics of the evening, which was somewhat intentional. I’ve done extensive album reviews in the past and since this wasn’t exactly an album review, I deliberately avoided it as such. With regards to the size of the members of The Catalyst, it was in no way my intention to disservice them. Actually, I hope my comments come off as praise more than anything. I hoped to convey that I felt they, both physically and sonically, were to big for the small stage offered at Foufs. Perhaps in the near future I’ll review Origins (sans reference to aesthetics).

          Rock Hard!

          • Guest

            Fair enough! Thanks, Evil, I appreciate your response 🙂

  • IanC

    Need the shortest summary? The Catalyst is FIGHT MUSIC period!