The Catharsis - Romance

Birmingham's The Catharsis are a relatively new name on me, but they have been going a while - this being their third release - following two EPs, coming out as a download and self-released vinyl. It's frantic and angular metal/post-hardcore with an English accent. That they have just completed a UK tour with Palm Reader will perhaps explain a bit more.

There is something melodic amongst the mayhem with Romance; vocalist Morgan Tedd is one of those seemingly rare souls that has the ability to inject the difficult art of measured and tuneful screams. The result is, to my ears, something that resembles a cross between the vocals of the Bronx with the music of We Are The Romans. Having said that, Romance is sparing with its guitar based intracasies - riffs are 2 and 3 seconds bursts of repetitive rhythm. Take mid-album track Spirit Lifter - it drags a little as the initial idea is held for a while and moves to single note drones.

Having said that, you can definitely see where the band come from - the sounds of heavily played Every Time I Die and Bronx records underpin the noises coming out of this album; it is commendable that there is a very English tinge to it on top of that. The lyrics perhaps do descend occasionally into the realm of slight cliche, but that is a minor chink in the armoury. Otherwise, this is a solid album and a very assured effort as a debut full length. As angular and ambiently metallic as anything you will hear this year.