Following hot on the heels of the recently reviewed Unholy Thoughts, comes another Virginia based Forcefield Records band (is there something in the water there?) – a group going by the name of The Catalyst – who have Voyager to offer the world and also the universe. These guys are kinda wonky and definitely enjoy the odd trip or two (take that phrase however you like) into the outer reaches. Evidently this is the first records sans a second drummer – you thought Kylesa had the monopoly on that? Think again. But that loss does no harm to the sound The Catalyst manage to produce over the forty minute running time. Throwing in punk influences, touches of sludge and even the odd dual vocal, The Catalyst are pretty darn devastating considering.
1. (The Final Voyage Of The) Spaceship Catalyst
2. King of Swords
3. Square Waves
4. Occult Blood
6. Jupiter Brain
8. Big Bend
9. Open High
Voyager is defiantly against type and The Catalyst are pretty hard to pin down genre-wise. There’s a little bit of everything and that’s what makes this record so fun to listen to. Where’s it gonna go next? I don’t know, but that’s half the excitement right? If you’re already familiar with this band then don’t let the departure of Jamie Faulstich worry you, the rest of this trio [Eric Smith (guitar/vocals), Michael Backus (bass/vocals) and Kevin Broderick (drums)] do a damn fine job of carrying Voyager into ever more baffling territory and quite rightly demolish everything in their path.
The title track (and album closer) thrills with rough and heavy bass lines, clean vocals and a weird grunge-esque feeling that has made the odd appearance during the record but shines through quite unashamedly here. It’s a refreshing change to the noise and madness and general feeling of ordered chaos that permeates Voyager but of course such gentle tones don’t last long and soon The Catalyst are bearing down on you with furious screams and an ending that fluctuates with a weirdly paranoid tension. It’s tricky to say exactly why it leaves such an uneasy tinge to proceedings, but that’s the beauty of this record. The journey is bizarre and often switches tack with hardly a hint of the change to come. Otherworldly indeed.