Entitled after Baptistina, the colossal asteroid reputedly responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs, Catatonic Society’s debut dwarfs its namesake with pure sonic power and the weight of a thousand suns.
Kicking off with “Left Hand Path”, Baptistina‘s penchant for Karma To Burn styled riffs and High On Fire’s power trio groove, is instantly apparent. The stoner on amphetamines vibe continues with “Lost At Sea”, where Catatonic Society prove they are anything but floundering in unchartered waters while “Mandrake” slays with the ferocity of Remission/Leviathan era Mastodon.
The undisputed highlight of the album follows; “Gravity”. Wielding as much power as the colossal force of its namesake, “Gravity” pins you down with the full force of its otherworldly cosmic riffs. A Progressive Metal vibe permeates throughout, as the ghosts of Pink Floyd’s Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and Mastodon’s modern day classic Crack The Skye collide to create a space-jam that sits somewhere between Hawkwind and High On Fire; highly impressive.
A mid-album lull then unfortunately hampers the momentum. The “title-track”, “Lazarus Frankenstein” and “Last Stand” feel slightly underdeveloped and lack the seismic riff-power of the remaining 7 tracks, but that’s a small gripe as Baptistina rolls like thunder for the majority of its running time.
Fortunately, the closing one-two of “Shiva the Destroyer” and “Ashes” raise the pulse again and planet-levelling riffs, particularly on the crushing “Shiva The Destroyer”, make a massive impact; a climactic way to close an impressive debut.
Catatonic Society’s debut album proves there’s still merit in writing a straight-up Heavy f*ckin’ Metal album in 2015. After all, Heavy Metal needn’t reinvent the wheel, it already turns perfectly well thank you very much and while Catatonic Society may not be breaking new ground you have to tip your hat to them for recording an asteroid-sized, granite-tough, riff-heavy and frankly, bloody brilliant Heavy Metal record!
On Baptistina, Catatonic Society have laid waste to the dinosaurs; what on earth comes next! 7/10