Review Summary: An absolutely crushing, haunting and spine-tingling effort
Catch Thirty-three is that stunning realization that everything you know could in fact be false. That nothing is certain and you will go at great lengths to try to define reality by what your senses tell you without knowing it creates infinite paradoxes in the process. This album captures this sort of cryptic uncertainty flawlessly and leaves you with a lingering horror that lasts for years.
I would call this more of experience than an album because one really needs to listen to this in full to get the full experience. Once I understood the structure of the album as a whole, it became one of the most heavy, haunting and cerebral metal albums I've ever heard and became impossible to stop listening to. The relentless repetition fits perfectly for this kind of style and keeps you on the edge of your seat with it's memorable and complex structures, breaks and overall heaviness. Songs like Mind's Mirror and In Death - Is Death are both horrifying and incredibly captivating pieces of music that sink into your psyche like some sort of undiagnosed illness everyone sort of knows exists but tries desperately to hide. The rest of the tracks accentuate this sort of minimalistic and yet rhythmically complex dissonance that becomes instantly memorable. The relentless groove and flow of the vocals perfectly fit the overall brutality of the album, it's like trying endlessly to solve giant mechanical puzzle to some ancient esoteric landscape. Especially on a track like Sum where the final vocal bit Kidman has is just a long harrowing scream that both jolts your attention and fills you with this sense of terrifying confusion.
The dissonant softer parts of this album perfectly contrast the harshiness of the rest of the album as parts like In Death - Is Death become this beacon of knowledge that the calmness is only an illusion and that there is a madness of certainty still waiting around every corner.
Everything that has order also has an equal amount of chaos and Catch-thirtythree is a brilliant take on the paradoxes of the human existence. It ultimately questions normality and kind of shows us why some of the most interesting things about life are the difficult and unanswerable aspects. It becomes a never-ending cycle of philosophical quandaries and sometimes it's fascinating to think about but try not to go crazy over it. Thankfully we have Meshuggah to remind us, though.