The squalling, screeching feedback that greets the listener upon pressing the play button certainly sets the tone for the rest of Romance, the new album from Birmingham hardcore maulers The Catharsis. From there on in, The Catharsis have you by the throat as they spit and snarl through the rest of this thirty minute outpouring of emotion.

Clearly throwing everything into his work, vocalist Morgan Tedd snaps “Fake every smile for a quiet life” on “Dead Man Talking”; there is no escaping from the fact that Romance is a brutal-as-fuck record that must have drained every ounce of life out of the Birmingham hardcore mob. Even when they slow down the tempo for the more tempered “Styx”, it’s impossible for them to escape that brutal, raging emotion that is bubbling away.

Don’t worry though, normality returns as the album crashes into the scathing “Armour” and you’re left wondering if Gallows were ever this unhinged? You see, with his lyrics clearly touching on personal experiences, as Tedd scowls “love is such a dirty word” you can imagine a lot people giving him a wide berth. The fury continues as Tedd and his bandmates smash through the ferocious “Leave Me Here” while, just as you wonder how much rage is left in the tank, the Brummie outfit explode into “O’Recluse”, and serve up four minutes of bile-drenched aggression.

The album screeches to a conclusion much in the same way it started with the title track smashing along at an uncontrollable pace before fading into the night leaving your ears ringing with that same squalling feedback that kicked off this whole experience. Many people talk about the exciting UK hardcore scene and, if you have the stomach to take everything Romance throws at you, then you’ll find yourself experiencing one of its most exciting bands.

Track Listing:

01. Funeral
02. Dead Man Talking
03. Stray Dogs
04. Heart Burner
05. Spirit Lifter
06. Styx
07. Amour
08. Leave Me Here
09. O’Recluse
10. Romance

Run Time: 32:19
Release Date: April 22, 2013

Check out a ‘Romance’ album teaser

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.