Catalyst / Calm.Murder – Two Sides of the Suicide King (CD)

Catalyst starts this split out with “Kiss You Goodbye”, a typical over-blown, theatrics-laden hardcore track rife with screaming. What saves “Kiss You Goodbye” is the ever-present and impressive drumming laid down by Kevin. Fairly normal guitar riffs wreck any pretense of innovation and spontaneity on Catalyst’s side of the split, as “Your Death”’s average fare is just a poorly-mixed example of how to scream in monotone. Guitar lines are heavily influenced by “Reign in Blood”-era Slayer while “Your Death” shows a mixture of Corrosion of Conformity and 21 Wounds being the impetus for Mike’s vocals. Hatebreed comes through as another influence during the opening strains of “Same Shit Everday”, where the guitars tend to switch into a more melodic/medieval metal mode for the track (think Emperor meets Blind Guardian). Finishing off their part of the split with “this Heart Won’t Heal On It’s Own”, Catalyst shows that they are mired in a mass of metal muck from which they seemingly will never leave. The faster driving beat of “This Heart” may seem to some to be a ray of light on an otherwise cloudy track, but it is again relegated to mundane-ness by the bulk of the rest of the track.

Calm.Murder is a band of the more recent emo-hardcore vintage, with breakdowns provided by Lewis and Mike allowing for At the Drive In-esque vocals to be draped over the tracks by Shaun. The screamed-out vocals of “This Is No Horror Movie…” are only aided by the odd time signatures that Brandon (bassist) and the guitarist work under during the track. The extended spoken part on “TINHM” is a little pretentious, but it does provide a nice bridge to lead up into the ending section. Entering “hey, What’s The Penalty For Arson?” with the same intensity that has marked all their sracks on this side of the split, Calm.Murder again taps the well of impressive artistry and works some magic in moving away from traditional song structure. The sizzling guitar lines that also make their entrance during their track are the light to the deep and dark sounds of Brandon’s bass during the track, in what is truly a tremendous battle. “This Day Love Died” marks the end of the split, and shows a Calm.Murder that does not rest on their laurels, using PJ’s drumming to really create a different mood for this track. If this was a competitive spot, Calm.Murder would have left Catalyst in the dust.

Rating: Catalyst: 4.5/10
Rating: Calm.Murder: 7.0/10

Top Track: Calm.Murder “This Day Love Died”

Catalyst / Calm.Murder – Two Sides of the Suicide King / 2005 Engineer Records / 8 Tracks / http://www.catalyst666.com / http://www.myspace.com/calmmurder / http://www.engineerrecords.com / Reviewed 08 April 2005

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