The stability of staying on the same label and with the same lineup for two records in a row has paid off for Swiss metalcore outfit Cataract: Kingdom is easily the band's most consistent, hardest-rocking effort so far. Cataract still sounds like a slightly more hardcore-oriented version of Slayer or Pantera -- these comparisons are so ingrained in their sound that if Cataract stopped sounding like those bands, they would no longer sound like Cataract -- but on Kingdom, the guitar riffs are more memorable, singer Fedi's bellowing vocals lack the generic Cookie Monster effect, and the songwriting is sharp enough to make individual songs stand out. In particular, "Denial of Life" and "War of Cultures" put the pieces together exactly right. As if to show how far the band has progressed, initial copies of Kingdom are packaged with a bonus CD featuring remakes of four early Cataract songs that largely shred the originals.
by Stewart Mason