Cream Abdul Babar The Catalyst to Ruins

With their excellent self-released EP, Buried In Broken Glass, and formidable live show, this Tallahassee seven-piece proved that they were ready to hang with the aggressive underground's most punishing and proficient acts. Their first full-length, The Catalyst To Ruins, delivers on all the potential of their EP, and with Neurosis exploring more sublime and restrained soundscapes, firmly places them with Isis as heirs to the throne. The overwhelming hypnotic droning and buffeting of Isis and Neurosis are just comparison points for CAB, as is the complexity and menace of Deadguy and the distorted glory of noise rock legends the Unsane, but while their influences are easily discernible, CAB stamps their own identity on the proceedings. Utilising trombone (real heavy metal), keyboards, a dual vocal attack and avant noise constructions intertwining amongst the albums 11 tracks, CAB employs repetitious dissonance and slower paces to heighten their damaging nature but always cut back to more hectic runs before monotony surpasses heaviness. With the keyboards and trombone more prevalent than in the past, Ian's increasingly manic vocals, a more focused performance and stand out tracks like "Kill People," "Empire of the Dead" and "Specialization is for Insects," The Catalyst to Ruins may be CAB's catalyst to greatness. (At A Loss)