CATCH 22 - MONUMETAL

METAL ON METAL RECORDS / RAW METAL

 

Metal To Infinity

Metal On Metal Records is one of those labels more than worthy to keep an eye on on a regular basis. They've been delivering awesome releases since a few years now, so check out  at: www.metal-on-metal.com  to make up your mind about it. Two new efforts have been just unleashed through this label, Wishdoom and Catch 22 albums… let’s start giving an overview to the last mentioned band which is based in Ohio, and offers Power / Thrash Metal for almost 20 years up until now. Brand new album “Monumetal” is their fifth output, released through the RAW Metal division of MOM Records!

First on, I’d like to express my admiration on such a great cover artwork done by the mistress of Metal and artwork herself, Jowita Kaminska. About the songs on “Monumetal”: I still like the vocal use of T.J. Berry a lot – also all the guitar lines (riffage / solos) are in courtesy of T.J. himself. His unique manner of vocal delivery is still present on the new album and gives (as always) an extra advantage to the entire album in my opinion. The man who took control of the bass lines and background vocals named Jason Antil definitely plays in an outstanding way. Session drums are done by Steve Strahler and he did a really good job. If I am to make a comparison between all the previous albums by Catch 22 and this new one entitled “Monumetal”, I have to say something has changed here and there. Before I described the band as a Power / Thrash Metal act – well, right now I’d rather like to call it groovy, kinda sludge minded hard hitting Power Metal with elements taken from the world of Doom Metal. Believe me – Catch 22 still will blow you away, even when their style is a little bit different than before. 

The sound quality is rather raw than clean but (in some ways) I have no problem with that. Catch 22 as always play in a great late 80’s / early 90’s tradition which means a too clean production won’t fit that much. On the other hand I have to say that I'm not 100% satisfied with the entire sound quality of the album. I exactly don’t know how to explain but here and there something seems not very oiled while making the switch from the guitar riffing to the solos. Catch 22 was, is and shall always be a very good Metal act to me but I'm sure if the singer / guitarist T.J. Berry gets some support from a second axeman, nothing should keep them away from the ultimate Metal top! 

“Monumetal” contains eleven songs radiating a very heavy character able to rip the flesh from your bones in no time. For example the opener ‘Power Revolution Mad’ has the right moves on board for me to start banging my head. The ultra heavy guitar chords and a great solo in ‘Contained’ makes me feel good again. As long as I'm surrounded by great Metal tunes, the world looks better than it is in reality. Most of the songs have been played in a quite a slow tempo but better fasten your seat belts before playing ‘…And The Fire Still Burns’. Catch 22 accelerates for a while during this track and it has to be said that the vocals are still pleasing me as they do on other songs like ‘Killing Time’, ‘Switchblade Hate’, ‘Twisted, Ruined And Black’ and last one ‘Catch 22’ (a song featuring a nice couple of breaks). Sometimes, T.J. Berry reminds me to ex Seven Witches / Morbid Sin, Overlorde frontman Bobby ‘Leather Lungs’ Lucas which can be seen as a big compliment actually! 

“Monumetal” isn’t the best up to date album of Catch 22 to me. I expected a true US Metal rush and based on that - I unfortunately have some kind of a mixed feelings. In the end, I still will recommend this output to each and every one hooked on US Power Metal with outstanding, very unique vocals and cool pure Classic Metal guitar tactics. An album that might be not their best so far, I still consider myself a fan looking forward to next, hopefully much better Catch 22 Metal assault! Order possibilities via: 
www.metal-on-metal.com    

My Points: 82 / 100 (Review by Stefan)

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