Catalyst are a four-piece Technical Death Metal band based out of France. They formed in 2016, where they digitally released their very first EP titled Dawn of a Dreadful Fate. Three years later, they released their first full-length titled The Great Purpose of the Lords. On October 14th, 2022, the band released their second full-length, A Different Painting For a New World through Non Serviam Records, a label based out of Appingedam, Netherlands. The band is comprised of new drummer Stephane Petit, who took over for Paul Loup, lead vocalist & guitarist Jules Kicka, bassist Jefferson Brand, and guitarist Florian Iochem.
While catching up with Jules, he told us about the first Metal and Rock bands he experienced growing up, “My first band, like for a lot of people, was Metallica. When I was really young, I was already listening to Linkin Park a lot; I was really, really young, like six or seven years old. I really Love their Music. When I was 11-12, I started to listen to Metal, and I started with the song Wherever I May Roam by Metallica, that’s the first Metal song where I was like, “whoa! This is awesome!” That was how I began to listen to Metal, and after that… I got into Death Metal when I was 14 or 15 with Cannibal Corpse. I think it was with Chris Barnes. And I really liked Cannibal Corpse in the beginning, and later when I was 16 years old, I heard the song Scourge of Iron, which is really awesome. This one is pretty modern, from the Torture album from 2012.”
Jules elaborated about what it was like growing up and getting into Metal, “when I was young, I didn’t have friends listening to Metal, no one. The only person I knew listening to Metal was my Father and he was working in his disc shop. In my parent’s, house there was always Music, all day long, from the morning to the evening. And when I was really young, like 9-10 years old, I didn’t care much about Music, and suddenly one day, I told myself, “yeah, I would like to listen to Metallica, it’s a band I heard about.” So I was in my house, I told my Father, “Do you have some Metallica albums I can take and listen to?” And he gave me the Black album, and I took it, put it on my computer then on my phone, and I went outside to chill with some friends and listened to the album. And when I was on the song Wherever I May Roam, I was completely blown away, and was like ‘whoa, I really Love this song!’ And after that, I was stealing CDs from my Father and listening to a lot of things, and that’s simply how I got into Metal. This story I was 11 years old, and I went to my first show at 14 or 15.”
Jules’ first show was a small festival near his area with Sepultura headlining, along with other local bands, “It was my first show, and the second one was a small festival, it was just here for one day. You know, in Europe, there’s a lot of festivals in a lot of countries, and for 3 years there was Sonisphere in France, and I was at the second edition, and they had Machine Head, Faith No More, Meshuggah, and Marilyn Manson, but I don’t really like Marilyn Manson. I was mainly there for Machine Head because it is one of the greatest bands ever.”
“In the great vast universe, where each fate is influenced by several omniscient bodies, the human being is a living species which cannot question what was and what will be given. The universe and its boundless forces were created by a single entity, ruling over the world and protecting it atop its unseen throne. But the One Above All was aware the immensity of its creation would prevent it from bearing the burden of leading it alone… along with the deprivation of maintaining the balance between good and evil.” – Excerpt of the written story of A Different Painting of a New World
A Different Painting for a New World is a concept album about the battle between the catalyst and the creator. The album was mixed and mastered by HK Krauss at Vamacara Studio, who have worked with Dagoba, Sinsaenum, Loudblast, and more. The video for the track To Unleash Thy Heinous Fate was filmed at a location between the border of France and Luxembourg. The video was directed by Vincent Tournaud, the special effects were done by Mederic Havard, who also produced the video alongside Jules. With the video, the band wanted to give their best to show the part of the story where the eight lords are helping the catalyst get the Dead off of the ground.
“For us, it was important to have a good video for this song, it is the first song on the album. And it’s about the first chapter of this new story we tell in this album. And if you will, it’s kind of the last warning to send to Humanity about what is coming between the battle of the Catalyst and the Creator. And this last warning is the nightmare you can see in the sky with the bodies,” Jules said while also describing the song as one of the most brutal songs from the album.
“The Lords then dedicated their existence to work with the Creator, protecting and ensuring
stability to the worlds and the living. Earth was provided with countless resources in order to make it a living place, a safe haven for human beings and for all that lives.” – Excerpt of the written story of A Different Painting of a New World
Jules feels that most of his Musical inspirations come from old-school Death Metal, but for writing the songs on this album are a little different, “I always say that writing these songs, the biggest influences for the Music are Machine Head. It’s kind of far from what we do because we are way more Death Metal, way more brutal, but I’ve learned a lot from how they write the songs, how Machine Head wrote The Blackening album.”
Another inspiration for writing and creating the songs on the album comes from playing video games, “I’m really inspired by Zelda from the videogame, and I Love the soundtracks and the ambience, and I think that is the reason why there is a lot of melodic Art in our Music. I think it’s the most pure thing in my head to explain why I write songs this way, and of course I have a lot of Death Metal influences like Dying Fetus or Death, things like that.”
“Although equality was reigning among the Lords, each of them was tasked with a
predominant role, laying down some sort of hierarchy. The leader of the eight All-Seeing
Creations was the Guardian of Nature. He is the incarnation and the protector of nature,
pure and unharmed by virtue of its endless power.” – Excerpt of the written story of A Different Painting of a New World
“Also, to help them in that quest of the perfect balance of everything that is and everything that will be, the fourth Lord was appointed Guardian of Justice, inducing ideal and universal ethics. The fifth and sixth Lords were the Guardians of Time and Space, meant to work together, just as the seventh and eight Guardians, ruling the Darkness and the Light.” – Excerpt of the written story of A Different Painting of a New World
Catalyst released their visualizer along with the lyrics for their title track of the album, A Different Painting For a New World on November 18th. The video portrays a minimalistic look at the main character of a fragmented being on a journey alone through a dark void, and falling into the inescapable, dark reaches of the shattered world. The video was also directed by Mederic Havard. “A Different Painting For a New World, I think that personally is the climax of the album, it’s the most important part, it’s the reason why the name of the album is for that song. In the story, the final song of this album is telling a fault and favor for the catalyst, the main character.”
Jules went on to describe the most important messages they want portrayed through the Music, “For the Music part, I think the important message in what we want to be as a band is we are really brutal, there’s a lot of brutality in this Music, but there’s a lot of light inside also. It’s really important to have this balance between this chaos that we create in this song and the relief we have throughout in those melodic parts of the song. I think sometimes we live in a space of chaos, so it’s the same thing for the Music.
I’m just trying to write a fantastic way of writing stories… I don’t really know where the inspiration comes from for the lyrics part. I’m just trying to escape from real Life, to create something just in my head that have nothing to do with my own experience, the important part is to make something pretty epic that can match the Music.”
“But its might wasn’t even close enough to rule the cosmos by itself, unable to entirely master
the world and to contain its creations. Step by step, a celestial tyranny was imposed by the
Chosen One, breeding chaos and disorder in this once-peaceful core, spawning the darkest
behaviour among humans, whom scoured to reign upon every other creatures.” – Excerpt of the written story of A Different Painting of a New World
“The Artwork was made by a guy here in France called Vincent Fouquet, who has a company named, Above Chaos, and he has worked with a lot of Artists like Meshuggah, Kampfar, bands like that. We really liked his Art and we already worked with him for our first album in 2019 that was named The Great Purpose of the Lords, and we wanted to continue with him because he knows how to perfectly illustrate the story we tell about the catalyst in our albums.” In this new Artwork here, it is symbolizing the battle between the catalyst and the creator, the two characters of the story we tell.”
The concept of the overall album comes from Jules wanting to have something to write about, rather than politics or religion, as it’s not something he’s interested in, “So, I wanted to have something a bit original, it’s not a new thing. I wanted to have a story to write, it’s like, I have something I can write about and help me compose to write my songs, I think in the end, it is something that is good for my song writing. It was not something really important when I started the band.”
You can order A Different Painting of a New World through Non Serviam Records or through the band’s official Bandcamp page here.
“Decision was taken that the eight Lords would conceal themselves among the mortals on
Earth, in search of the one and only who would replace the deceiving Creator, the one who
will bring balance back in a shattered world… the Catalyst.” – Excerpt of the written story of A Different Painting of a New World
Article and Interview by Jenna Williams, The Scream Queen