When Like A Storm released “Love The Way You Hate Me,” the first single from Awaken the Fire in 2014, the rock world was put on notice and the band continued to blaze through the charts, tours and festival circuit like crazy, becoming one of the top rock bands in the world.
Fast forward to 2018 and they’re back with Catacombs– their third record overall and one that shows New Zealand boys expanding their sound to an even more dominant form than it was before, making for a record that’s set to kick everyone’s ass who hears it.
One of their first singles, “The Devil Inside,” kicks things off and proves almost-immediately that the band is here to make a statement with this album. The track is one of the heaviest they’ve ever put together and is a scorcher from the very beginning, loaded with Chris Brooks screams we’ve only seen flashes of in the past.
“Out of Control” keeps going in the dominant direction before the title track slows things down a little bit but isn’t a ballad by any stretch of the imagination. While it’s slower, it’s still heavy in its own right, leading into Complicated (Stitches & Scars), which could easily be one of the next singles.
“The Bitterness” is a fast-paced rock track that, with its cutting rock riffs and smooth chorus is one that’s guaranteed to be a crowd favorite and a staple of the band’s live show. It’s just plain addicting and is one that you just can’t forget.
“Hole in My Heart” is a tricky one and fools you by starting of soft with some of the most soothing vocals on the album but quickly changes directions with a gut-checking heavy metal track that’s loaded with some of the most aggression of Like A Storm’s career and one hell of a song.
“Bullet in the Head” sees the band bringing back the didgeridoo and hits us with an electronically heavy track that shows some of the strongest and most personal lyrics on the record and is thematically amazing.
“These Are the Bridges You Burned” rounds things before lead single “Pure Evil” closes the record out in destructive form. This was the first taste the world got of the new Like A Storm and it’s one hell of a preview going into the record and it’s the perfect way to close the record out.
In the end, Like A Storm have found a way to reinvent themselves but also keep the elements that catapulted them to the level they’re at and Catacombs is the essential follow-up to Awaken the Fire.