Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 5/23/2006
posted on 6/2006 By:
I’m not exactly a metalcore fan; In fact, most days out of the week if you asked me I’d probably tell you flat out that I couldn’t give two shits less about the genre as a whole. Obviously this begs the question of why the bloody hell did I voluntarily sign up to review an album from a band I know next to nothing about that plays a genre besides the occasional band here and there I tend to find at best, wholly uninteresting.
Well for whatever reason, on a certain level I’ve always wanted to be able to enjoy metalcore and I have a feeling that Swiss band Cataract have something worth everyone’s time albeit as per most metalcore, wholly unimaginative. The pure fact that Kingdom has enough punch and fervor to make me take notice should at least raise a few eyebrows, and hopefully will garner a few unbiased listens to see if I’m alone in being impressed.
These Swiss tough guys blend the standard fare of like-minded hardcore giants with a great deal of thrash worship ala Slayer, but espouse mainly the thick chunk of Hatebreed, but not to distant from the bludgeoning nature of Shattered Realm or Full Blown Chaos, yet they still retain that distinctive European metalcore vibe to their sound. Basically put, this is what The Haunted would have sounded like if the death metal touches were annexed in favor of hardcore.
Tue Madsen’s burly production job led to Kingdom having a hulking, rabid air of edge with a strong clarity but with grit in all the right places. The band has enough gusto and conviction in their apparent ability to appeal to sentiments of the floor punching, poorly executed spin kicking crowd as much as the metal community. Songs like “War of Cultures”, “On this Graveyard”, and “March with Your Battleforce” pack enough intensity and rollicking aggression to cause more than a few moments of unadulterated head bobbing between the thick chugging breakdowns and slight groove, but cuts like “Legions at the Gates”, “Definition of the Sacred”, and “For Their Sins” play out through their endurance as slightly rudimentary, extremely one-dimensional, and all together nondescript in retrospect, no matter how much heart Cataract put into their attack.
This isn’t an album people are going to storm the streets in anticipation to buy, but for anyone who has an ear for the genre there’s enough going on behind the scenes to merit attention. I wouldn’t expect Cataract winning too many converts, but I do think it’s interesting that despite the fact that this style has been done countless times before, Kingdom still retains a fresh sound full of a fuck the trend attitude despite playing a subgenre engulfed in trend.
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