Cataract // Killing the Eternal
Rating: 2.5/3.0 —Above average metalcore = Average thrash
Label: Metal Blade
Websites: cataract.cc | myspace.com/cataract
Release Dates: EU: 24.09.2010 | US: No date found…
What the hell is THIS? A metal-core band I actually like? Impossible! Well, like may be too strong a word here but Killing the Eternal, the sixth album by Swiss metal-core mavens Cataract is much less annoying and cringe inducing than most of the metal-core I’ve been subjected to over time. Perhaps this caught me in a rare moment of good humor, or maybe Cataract have learned over their long existence that their bread is buttered on the death/thrash side of things. One thing is for certain, Cataract manage to avoid many trappings of the classic “core” sound that I find so irritating, and as a result, this is a fairly tolerable, and at times, even enjoyable album.
Borrowing liberally from the Big Book of Slayer Riffs, Cataract comes at you with twelve, fast-paced tracks that are all simple, short and straight to the point. There’s plenty of thrashing energy on offer, with riffs ranging from recycled to respectable, with a few being fairly memorable. Vocalist Federico Carminitana has a decent, if unoriginal rasp, that at times, sounds quite like Mr. Phil Anselmo, and he manages to convey that he’s very angry about many many things. These factors together help make Killing the Eternal reasonably effective, and although it isn’t light years removed from the Unearths and Hatebreeds of the world, its way more tolerable to these ears.
Killing the Eternal has a few moments where the thrashing and screaming is very infectious, as with opener “Never” and “Mankind’s Burden,” and a many moments where it’s at least passable and the energy holds things together. There are also a few clunkers here, where the “core” fights for more space and the songs suffer (“Hollow Steps and “Urban Waste”). However, even the clunkers here are better than most of the metalcore out there. Also working in their favor, is the decision not to bury the listener under endless breakdowns and chug-a-lug monotony. Are there breakdown? Sure, but the album isn’t awash with chug-abuse to the point where it seems lazy and a way to mask the lack of quality material. Likewise, Killing the Eternal doesn’t suffer from the dreaded Gang Chorus Shout-Out Syndrome so common in metalcore. They get further assistance from a punchy and solid production, that increases the effectiveness of the anger being spouted and spewed.
When all is said and done, Killing the Eternal has just enough Slayer-isms and Pantera-isms to allow me to listen intently, but this isn’t something I consider a keeper in my collecton. To be 100% honest, all Cataract achieved here was rising far enough above the metal-core realm to be considered an average thrash band. I give them a lot of credit for doing that, but it’s still pretty standard fare. If you absolutely have to buy one metal-core CD this year (and you certainly don’t), you could do a lot worse than Killing the Eternal.