Cataract

With Triumph Comes Loss

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Released in 2004, With Triumph Comes Loss was Swiss metalcore outfit Cataract's third album on as many labels (this one arriving on Metal Blade), and, although their songs sometimes lack complete distinction, there's no denying the commanding force with which they are routinely delivered. Vinyl snaps, crackles, and pops precede vicious opener "Killing Tool," which, as one would expect, launches the album off with a frenetic gallop, its double kick-drums and ample harmonies at times bordering on the melodic death metal of In Flames. Slower tracks like "Banished in the Dark" and "Fuel," on the other hand, are built on the sort of monster grooves that Pantera ingrained into almost all heavy metal, post-1992. Slayer is another obvious touchstone throughout (the impressive, slow-marching title track recalls "South of Heaven," and the opening riff to "As We Speak" sounds almost exactly like "Raining Blood," only inside out), but the scarcity of guitar solos serves as a constant reminder of Cataract's ties to the hardcore movement, and, to a smaller degree, the neo-thrash work of, say, the Haunted. The production is also perfect for this sort of music -- crunchy, taut, in your face -- so it's really a matter of coming up with a little more songwriting variety that will make Cataract's next album the one to count. There's definite promise of that, to be sure.

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