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Album Reviews : Decimatus – Catalyst For Rage

By on February 17, 2015

488095From the outset of Decimatus’ debut album Catalyst for Rage, it’s blatantly obvious that they had a lot of fun making the album. This can be deduced from the fact that it is a ton of fun to listen to, especially in the car when nobody can hear you screaming along to it. The groove/thrash metal exploits of the Melbourne-based band make for a blistering, unruly listen that grabs the audience by the balls from beginning to end.

The guitar tone is a metallic thrash affair backed up by a solid bass that doesn’t overwhelm or weigh down the energy, giving it enough depth to avoid a dated tinny sound. Guitar-wise, Booga and Pauly Brammer offer an inordinate amount of galloping riffs, heavy grooves, and thrash passages to keep every song interesting, varied, and technical enough to make the album worth several play throughs to appreciate. While some of the verses can become a bit repetitive, the bridges in most songs are more than enough to redeem these moments, with some of the most memorable riffs taking place after the midway point. This, whether by coincidence or by deliberation, makes each song worth listening to until the end. And just when you thought the songs had reached their peak, the solos break out. Some of the solos add a tinge of blues and southern rock influence that makes it incredibly difficult to refrain from roaring in sheer enjoyment.

The vocals are a standard, mid pitch scream that Tommy Jennings belts out with aggression. The vocals, like many other groove metal bands, become more of a percussive instrument that melds in with the music, occasionally broken up by a Randy Blythe style singing/shouting section. I honestly thought that Jennings could have gotten away with more of these sections, as they added a welcome variety to the vocals and a bit more melody than what he would otherwise display. Regardless, the vocals do their job, as do the lyrics, which appear as the typical anthemic themes commonly found in thrash and groove metal.

Josh Rech displays a competent style of drumming similar to Jeremy Spencer of Five Finger Death Punch or Paul Bostaph of… lots of bands. Apart from the occasionally unorthodox drum fill, it’s a fairly straight-forward matter of drumming that does the job, but isn’t as technically demanding as other groove metal drumming.

The album opens up with the frying pan to the face title track, providing a catchy introductory groove reminiscent of Pantera, which is always a good start. The album continues with “One Foot in the Grave,” a more upbeat and technically impressive thrasher with a chorus fit for a stadium. “Erosion” serves as another thrashy track that feeds the listener further into the album. “Burning Bridges” provides more simplistic, groove-oriented riffs, with a bigger emphasis on memorability than intensity. “Ill Fated” really picks up into a sinister and with a soaring guitar solo and some great riffs. “Ashes to the Urn,” “Usurper,” and “Fate Without Faith” maintain the trends with more headbanging and catchy riffs, but may begin to become redundant to some listeners. By far the highlights of the album in my opinion are the clean interlude “Half Measures” that provides a break from the groove metal onslaught, and is made all the more enjoyable by the bluesy solo contained within, and the final track “Death Sentence,” which has the most inspiring introduction, some of the best riffs, and the most amount of clean singing on the album.

Another welcome landmark on the groove metal map, Decimatus’ debut album Catalyst for Rage comes out swinging and continues the intensity throughout in true Australian fashion. The album is obviously meant to be listened to and experienced live, but that doesn’t take away from the utter delight that I had listening to it in the car, in the office, in the kitchen, and practically everywhere else I took it. The album establishes a feeling of excitement for a prosperous future in the metal scene for Decimatus, of which they soundly deserve.

Genre: Groove Metal
Year: 2015
Label: Independent

Track listing:
1. Catalyst for Rage
2. One Foot in the Grave
3. Erosion
4. Burning Bridges
5. Ill Fated
6. Ashes to the Urn
7. Usurper
8. Fate Without Ruin
9. Half Measures
10. Death Sentence (With a Plan)


Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode