This is another Aussie album worthy of national and worldwide attention. The Catalyst Fire is an absolute winner, get on it.

It’s a coincidence that arguably the two leading bands on the Australian alternative/progressive rock scene are releasing their long-awaited and much-anticipated albums literally within weeks of each other.

Comparisons between Karnivool and DLC will probably be inevitable, but this review will try to keep them to a minimum. Suffice it to say that DLC are more about maintaining their signature sound, and expanding within the confines of that sound. From their classic debut EP through to this, their second album, they have stayed very true to their direction, as opposed to Karnivool, who have taken stylistic turns with every new release.

As long as what the band is producing is quality stuff, then that’s all that matters. And that’s what we have here. DLC have produced an album that will please their existing fans no end, and find a whole bunch of new ones as well. There is a vitality to this album that is refreshing and contagious. This band has a knack for creating music of great power without having to rely on reams of distortion. The power comes from the compositions themselves and the delivery of those compositions, from the bombastic pounding of Luke Williams’ drums right up to Kim Benzie’s soaring and impassioned vocals.

And it’s the songs themselves that are ultimately the hero of the day. While the debut was excellent, it had the occasional dry moment here and there. Not so here – each and every song is strong and compelling, especially opener ‘The Cure’ and first single ‘Lodestar’. They maintain the momentum absolutely across the course of the 11 tracks on offer, whilst still displaying the patented Dead Letter dynamics for which they are famous.

4.5/5 stars


The Catalyst Fire out now through UNFD.

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