Given a chance to work under his own name, David Galas - a lot of you will remember him from his Lycia days - has birthed a seething, writhing monster. This work is faster, darker, angrier and much more aggressive than anything he ever did with Lycia; it is a fascinating springboard into the world of an artist who clearly has been biding his time, culling through his material and then executing its production to inflict maximum harmonic destruction. "The Cataclysm" is everything Galas hinted at with when he and Mike van Portfleet put out one of the most underrated, unknown albums of the 1990's, the cathartic yet blast-furnace inferno that was Bleak's only album "Vane". Galas' newest entry, his first solo record, in case you were wondering, does not have the dissonant penchant nor the feedback saturation of Vane but it has the doom-laden tone, the resigned contempt, the slag heap afterglow of industrial decimation.
You may ask yourself, why would anyone be so pleased with such a record? Take a listen to tracks like "The End Is Always Closer", "Capsized", "Far Away >From Nothing" and "Alone We Will Always Be" and then get back to me. The only other act who ever managed to capture such power, such grace and such a beautiful cacophony of sound on disc would be the legendary Swans and even they gave you breathers, "The Cataclysm" is not so kind as to do that with its guitars brimmingly flooding outside of the boundaries, drums pounding out the morse code of nadir, killing all conversations you may have been having. This is not a release a person just sits back to casually listen to.
I've been waiting for Mr. Galas to put this thing out for what seems like eons and now that it is finally brought to rest within my gleeful compact disc player, I can at last stop mourning his band Snowblind, the still-born infant whose sacrifice it now appears served a greater good. When people look at your collection and instinctive shudder when they see "The Cataclysm" glaring at their pop music loving asses, do the honourable thing... put it on.
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