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Like A Storm - 'Catacombs' Album Review


1. The Devil Inside 2. Out Of Control 3. Catacombs 4. Complicated [Stitches & Scars] 5. Solitary 6. The Bitterness 7. Until The Day I Die 8. Hole In My Heart 9. Bullet In The Head 10. These Are The Bridges You Burn Down 11. Pure Evil

Like A Storm are possibly New Zealand’s finest ever Rock export. These extremely hard working hard rockers have toured with Creed, Korn, Staind, Alter Bridge, Puddle Of Mudd, Steel Panther and Black Stone Cherry to name just a few. They are supposedly the highest charting New Zealand band in US chart history. Their impact since their first album ‘The End Of The Beginning’ was released in 2009 has been immense. They moved to North America that same year and issued their second album ‘Awaken The Fire’ in 2015. They have now released album number three, ‘Catacombs’, onto the world, via the Red Music label. The band produced the new record themselves but used Pete Rutcho on mixing duties after hearing his work with Parkway Drive. The eleven tracks here combine to make a stunning collection of songs. They have riffs the size of Mount Cook and tunes that could stop the traffic in Auckland. Most of these songs would seriously challenge the likes of Metallica and Korn.

The pinnacle song for me is “The Devil Inside” which is about dealing with those personal demons that we all have. Like many of their previous songs and others on this LP it utilises a digeridoo. The video to accompany it is superb and depicts the temptation of a priest by sins of the flesh as well as the band in all their glory. After a couple of spins “Bullet In The Head” is perhaps my favourite track, at least for now. It grabs you by the neck and slaps you around the head until you are forced to submit to its mesmeric spell. The lyrics are hard-hitting, take the couplet; “You're like a beautiful sickness, you’re like a knife against my wrist”. A real journey into the darkness that sits within all of us. The impact is heightened by the glorious combination of Chris Brooks’ almost heavenly soaring melodic vocal and Matt Brooks’ thunderous growling counterpoint.

The album does have its softer more reflective moments although even the best of them, the intro to “Hole In My Heart” rocks like a demonic, malevolent bastard fifty seconds in. Album closer “Pure Evil” is possibly the most ambitious track here both musically and lyrically. It seems to be attacking the pure bloody minded righteousness and bigotry practiced by organised religion. The venom and bile in the song’s message holds nothing back “You prophet of hate, you profit from faith, truth-less, two-faced, two bit fuckin' hypocrite”. This record is a clarion call to all Hard Rock and Metal fans across the globe.

This band will pummel away at you until they take up residence in your very soul. I suggest that you open yourselves up to them, otherwise they will take you by force!

Review - Bill Adamson

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