After the Metal on the march intro “Kingdom” blasts off proper with “War Of Cultures” and you know instantly what you are in for throughout the rest of the album, namely ironfist Thrash, the DNA of which features the SLAYER genome.
CATARACT mete out the punches, most of which land squarely on jaw, sending your fillings flying. They're angry and make no bones about it, it's 'eavy 'enry and so impact is assured. The whole gamut of your favourite Thrash riffs are belted out as well as some seriously weighty breakdowns. Whether the band are giving it chunky or going like a runaway train, they keep it tight without sounding clean cut. There's plenty of sing-along sections where you can mimic the oftimes Anselmo roaring, prepare yourself a honey-based drink for afterwards. There are also Mr King moments for you to perform scratch your eyes out air guitar solos to. If that doesn't all add up to a fun filled evening, what does?
The fact that you will in all likelihood enjoy being under a constant barrage from CATARACT'S gunnery probably speaks volumes about you, but you are only human and this music speaks to people that have a pulse. With menace a forethought, the attack is effective whether it's delivered at a tanking mid pace or when the band comes a dive bombing in. Though a fairly linear ride throughout, the array of riffs blows away any whiffs of staleness, the guitars jigger-picking into granite, chips flying. All of this runs smoothly along the bed rock of bass and drums which provide a solid and heavy foundation for vocals and guitars. The drums beat out an intelligent rhythm and only go Neanderthal when the pace ups enough for them to indulge in some rapid one-two pummel. That there bass also rumbles along like a storm in waiting, shaking pictures from the wall. When CATARCT enter the building, there is no more room left at the inn.
The 'Core bit of the band (and that should be a little “c”) really only relates to the bark of the choruses, for me this is a Metal album but then again I'm old and easily confused when it comes to 'Cores (wake up at the back, how many of you that are easily distracted mis-read that as cumming in a Corr? It'll be boxing gloves at bedtime if you're not careful.) Whatever, this is a powerhouse of loud and raucous guitar music, it may be fairly narrowly constrained but so is downhill bob-sleigh and who can deny the rush in that?
“Kingdom” is a steamroller of an album looking for Hedgehogs to flatten, engaging like a meat hook in your mouth, it pulls you along with it. Eschewing much in the way of frivolity, apart from one or two solos, it is honest and heavy. Anyone who can't see the appeal in CATARACT must be blind. (Online July 23, 2006)