|A Dark Halo - Catalyst
01. Burn It All
02. Beyond Recall
03. Dust And Ashes
07. Apex Realized
2006 - Heavy Armor Records - USA
Dave Lowmiller - Lead Vocals, Synths, Bass, Drums
Chris Jones - Guitars, Backing Vocals
A Dark Halo is a band playing the good old style of industrial metal that was so popular in the 90s. In other words, it is two dudes sitting with a bunch of synths, computers, and samplers and recording all of the instruments, presumably in a basement or garage somewhere. Interestingly, bands with such minimalistic lineups have become a rarity these days, even within the realms of industrial metal. Sadly, the music on Catalyst is as outdated as the band's recording habits, since it is rather unimaginative and unadventurous stuff that could have been created by a large number of other bands.
We are all familiar with this brand of drab industrial metal - heavy, pounding riffs, distorted vocals, clean, slightly gothy vocals in the refrains and a general cold and synthetic feel to the music. Most of the refrains feature somewhat cheesy keyboard harmonics. Die Krupps, Misery Loves Co. or even Rammstein and Zeromancer have been doing this kind of music, and much better, for years. With all this said, Catalyst is not an entire failure as an album. Although originality is a problem, the actual songwriting and riffs tend to be fairly memorable and if not groundbreaking, then at least of passable quality. A Dark Halo is also actually quite a heavy and aggressive band as far as this genre is concerned and many of the songs include very metal-sounding drum beats and riffs. This makes the album quite tolerable for a metal fan, especially one who doesn't care much about innovation. Most of the songs here follow more or less the same formula and have a similar sound. This makes the album slightly boring, but on the other hand, it is easy to listen to it while doing something else. The best song is saved for last and hits better than the rest with its Fear Factory-like structure.
Catalyst is primarily an album for people who just can't get enough of Zeromancer, Misery Loves Co. or Secret Discovery. I would not really recommend it to anyone who isn't a hardcore fan of this style though.
Written on 17.12.2006 by
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.