The deeper you dig, the more you unearth.
By turning inward without turning back, Like A Storm uncovered the eleven hypnotic, honest, and hard-hitting anthems that comprise their self-produced third full-length, Catacombs[RED MUSIC]. The New Zealand group shoveled raw emotion into an engine of airtight polyrhythmic riffage, cinematic electronics, and primal didgeridoo to fuel their biggest offering yet and claim a spot at the forefront of the modern rock pack.
The title holds weight both figuratively and literally for the boys—brothers Chris Brooks [lead vocals, didgeridoo, guitar, keys/programming], Matt Brooks [lead guitar, vocals, keys/programming], and Kent Brooks [bass, keys/programming] joined by Zach Wood [drums].
“We had a day off on tour in Paris last year, so we went to check out the actual Catacombs,” recalls Kent. “We found out that because their cemeteries were so over-run, they buried six million people down there. So they pushed all of this disease and decay five stories down beneath them. It hit me that we’re all the same way…On the outside, we’re told to project a ‘happy’ and ‘normal’ exterior; but just below the surface, there’s a much darker truth that we hide.”
“The whole excursion hit us as a metaphor for burying aspects of ourselves we don’t want to face,” agrees Chris. “Just because you close the door on them, doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. In the Parisian Catacombs, there are certain places where the skulls have been arranged ornately into crosses and hearts and that seemed symbolic to me. If you’re willing to confront your demons and address what you hide from yourself, you can find beauty in the pain and peace in the struggle.”
“We’d been building towards this record for a long time both personally and musically.” Matt elaborates. “When we really took the reigns off, we ended up with the darkest and heaviest album we’ve ever made.”
A long, tireless grind brought the band to Catacombs. An ocean away from home, they introduced themselves to the U.S in 2009. Through relentless touring, the band built a grassroots following, which led to their breakout single “Love The Way You Hate Me” receiving so much organic radio play that they broke into the U.S Active Rock Top 40 as an independent act.
By 2015, the smash single skyrocketed to #1 on SiriusXM Octane, clinching the top spot for five weeks and making the band the highest-charting New Zealand rock act in U.S. radio history. “Love The Way You Hate Me” eventually topped 7 million YouTube/VEVO views and 6 million Spotify streams, and steamrolled a path for the release of sophomore epic Awaken The Fire. Their cover of Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” eclipsed 3 million on Spotify as “Become The Enemy” and “Wish You Hell” both leaped past the 1.5-million-mark. All said and done, the release earned Like A Storm four Active Rock hits.
Along the way, they played arenas and large venues with the likes of Alter Bridge, Slash, Volbeat, Gojira, Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Sevendust and more. They were also invited to play standout festivals the world over including Rock on the Range, Shiprocked!, Download, Nova Rock, Graspop Metal Meeting and more. In addition to acclaim from Alternative Press, Kerrang!, and Revolver, Metal Hammer claimed, “Like A Storm is rewriting metal’s rulebook like never before.”
Throughout 2017, they took time away from the road to write, record, and produce Catacombs in Los Angeles, Toronto, and a Las Vegas studio that over-looked the Strip.
“We’d never recorded in Vegas before,” says Kent. “The place has an energy to it unlike anywhere else in the world.”
Like A Storm bash through the gates on Catacombs with the opener and first single “The Devil Inside.” The didgeridoo intertwines with a trance-like metal groove, as a melodic, haunting vocal resounds before climaxing with one of the group’s catchiest choruses to date.
“It sets the tone of the whole record,” says Chris. “This dark journey within yourself, which brings you face to face with your demons.”
Meanwhile, “These Are The Bridges You Burned Down” charges forward on a mosh pit-splitting death march. As Kent puts it, “When we were writing it, we knew this one would throw down live and tear up speakers.”
“The Bitterness” proves instantly irresistible, and “Solitary” – featuring Matt on lead vocals – interplays between a soaring melody and aggressive guitar-work.
“ Solitary’” is about feeling isolated and the realization that you ultimately created this loneliness for yourself by pushing everyone else away,” states Matt.
Catacombs closed with the six-minute epic “Pure Evil”. After a building intro, the unapologetic album finale hinges on a battering ram of distortion, before slipping into an airy piano reprieve and ramping back up into a chaotic catharsis.
As Chris comments, “We wanted the dynamics to mirror the subject matter.”
Matt continues, “ ‘Pure Evil’ tackles the hypocrisy of political and religious power. These people in our world who are revered as leaders, heroes, even seen as being god-like… are so often exposed to be the worst of the worst.”
In the end, Like A Storm dig deep and make a lasting connection with Catacombs.
“Ultimately, we wanted to bring back the feeling we got when we grew up listening to rock and metal records,” concludes Kent. “That’s why we make music.”
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