New Zealand’s Like A Storm have made quite a name for themselves, becoming the highest-charting Kiwi rock act ever with their unique brand of – to use their words – digeridoo metal, and 2018 sees them return with their third full-length album, Catacombs.
Opening with an eerily dark vibe, before jumping straight in with their well-known heavy guitars and of course, that famous digeridoo, lead single ‘The Devil Inside’ is classic Like A Storm with a heavier sound than before. Playing with some heavy vocal effects and layering, this track is playful and experimental, without straying too far from their signature sound. ‘Out Of Control,’ makes for a much more singalong-style song, which will no doubt make for a great anthem in their upcoming live sets, really showcasing the rhythm section – bassist Kent Brooks and drummer Zachary Wood.
Title track ‘Catacombs’ brings back the digeridoo in a much more minimal way, while also bringing forward the keys in moments in a fun way to create the perfect level of depth. ‘Catacombs’ is a solid track with huge potential to be the next single off its namesake album. Without hesitation, ‘Complicated (Stitches & Scars)’ jumps straight back into the heavy, full-guitar sound as heard in the opening track. Bringing some scream-style vocals into the mix, this may be one of Like A Storm’s heaviest tracks to date.
‘Solitary’ changes the game, with a much more upbeat intro – but only for a moment – before stepping back somewhat into not-quite ballad style vocals. A raw track that some fans could be curious to hear guitarist Matt Brooks take over vocal duties for as he has done in the past on ‘Break Free’ off their 2015 album Awaken the Fire. In another anthemic track, ‘The Bitterness’ is sure to be another solid contender in the live sets. Catchy, great riffs courtesy of Matt, and another fun singalong track, this one is sure to be relatable lyrically to many, whilst being a fun song to rock out to.
Bringing the keys to the forefront for a minute, ‘Until The Day I Die’ takes us back to that classic Like A Storm sound we’ve come to know and love. Deep and heavy riffs on this track make for a dark vibe, despite the lyrics telling you the opposite – “I’ll never be a casualty, I’ll bow before I break. … I’ll stand and fight until the day I die.” Sticking to his tried and true vocal style on this track, this sticks out as one of Chris Brooks’ standout vocal performances. ‘Hole In My Heart’ grips you from the beginning with a unique intro before jumping back into the heavy guitars yet again, and of course, that digeridoo makes a welcome comeback. Bringing the screaming back, ‘Hole In My Heart’ is a combination of all the heaviest bits of all the tracks that came before it and is sure to be another winner live.
If you thought some of the previous tracks were heavy, ‘Bullet In The Head’ squashes them like a bug. Heavy-hitting drums, big guitar riffs and huge vocals, this song would have to be the standout of the album. With so much going on, the boys have managed to contain themselves from indulging too much, which is always easier said than done! Taking it back a notch, ‘These Are The Bridges You Burned Down’ steps back into that comfortable territory Like A Storm have made themselves known for, but with some big vocals. Playfully heavy, ‘These Are The Bridges You Burned Down’ will appeal to fans of bands such as Five Finger Death Punch and Killswitch Engage.
Released as a standalone single in late 2016, closing off the album, ‘Pure Evil’ brings us full circle back to that eerie and somewhat spooky sound of the early tracks on Catacombs. ‘Pure Evil’ bridges the gap between Awaken The Fire and Catacombs, another fun singalong track and already a fan favourite, it closes off the album perfectly.
Like A Storm have successfully stuck to their trademark sound, whilst still managing to showcase huge growth as both artists and performers with this new release. A solid album from start to finish, and a schedule quickly filling up with festival dates overseas, it’s clear that they’re only getting bigger and bigger with each release. Having teased a world tour to follow the release, we can only hope that some headline Australian dates won’t be too far away.
You can pre-order “Catacombs” here!