Review Summary: Dead Letter Circus strikes back.
In the three years since This Is the Warning
, Dead Letter Circus have garnered a respectable amount of hype for themselves. Alongside contemporaries Karnivool, DLC have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Australian Prog Rock scene. Coming off the heels of Karnivool’s latest, The Catalyst Fire
continues to display a group of musicians with plenty of energy and passion. Rather than take Karnivool’s approach to altering their sound with each new release DLC choose instead to cling to a winning formula. While at times The Catalyst Fire
is a little safe, it never loses its impact.
This album tones down the electronic influences from DLC’s debut just slightly and instead lets Kim Benzie’s vocals and the instrumentation take more of the spotlight. Benzie continues to deliver inspiring messages of hope amid societal bleakness. His range is admirable and creates an enticing accompaniment to DLC’s progressive flair. The rhythm section is as calculated as ever. Luke Williams’ drumming astonishes once again, showcasing powerful drum beats with above average complexity. Not much is done differently here than on 2010’s This Is the Warning
and for the most part that’s just fine. The songs on The Catalyst Fire
are as fully realized as ever, each on grand scale and layered thick with ambition. Lead single “Lodestar” and “Lost Without Leaders” exhibit the soaring soundscapes of DLC’s more bombastic cuts while tracks such as “The Veil” let the melody dominate.
If you weren’t compelled by DLC’s ambient rock sound previously, this record won’t do a thing to change your mind. The band continues to do what they do best and outshine their contemporaries in both consistency and quality. With a group of young artists that are full of so much promise and potential, who knows what the future will bring?