Dead Letter Circus: The Catalyst Fire

Progressive Aussie modernists put some soul in their tech

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Yet more proof that Australia appears to be experiencing a new golden era of forward- thinking heaviness. This Brisbane crew are already stars at home and even though it might take a small miracle to make the same thing happen here, The Catalyst Fire certainly sounds like an album with huge crossover potential.

Although not directly connected to the djent scene, DLC share Tesseract’s unerring gift for layering insistent grooves with the sweetest of vocal melodies, Kim Benzie’s soaring vocal refrains providing a mesmerising counterpoint to the subtle intricacy of his bandmates’ wildly atmospheric riffs and electronics.

Immediate but with tangible depth, emotionally charged but thrillingly clinical, songs like the insanely catchy Lodestar offer a smart and invigorating alternative to some of the ham-fisted attempts at experimentation that pass for innovation in the trendier corners of the metal scene. More importantly, DLC sound like a band with both the charisma and the artistry to become a globally recognised force for creative good.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.