Underground Spotlight: Catalytic – The Heavy Metal Jewel of Indianapolis

fb_img_1481171908779Written by Matt Drummond

When I think about Indianapolis I think “how do i get the hell out of here?” The only positive aspect of Indianapolis that comes to mind is the open alcohol laws. It’s a needed law, trust me. Five minutes of walking around downtown Indy and you’ll need a beer too. In fact, we better make it an Icehouse.

Well listen up, Indianapolis, because i have found your patron saint. Melodic metal newcomers Catalytic have used Indianapolis as their stomping ground since the very beginning. Unfortunately, this isn’t a state capable of accommodating such a savage band.

Dustin Strole (vocals), James Donner (guitar), Dustin Chavez (guitar), Xander Farrington (drums), and Derek Ware (bass) gnashed the scene with their inaugural album, 2014’s The Voice of Reason. This album rains down destruction with 11 explosive tracks. Catalytic is zeroing in on storming the rest of the USA and I guarantee it’s in the near future. Their plan seems simple: crack skulls, cauterize the wound, and crack ‘em again.

Portraying a heavy Killswitch Engage influence, Catalytic drops truck loads of devastating riffs intertwined with slower melodic periods. ‘The Voice of Reason’ has a definite mixture of tempos, but when you do it like Catalytic the results are phenomenal. The positive and uplifting lyrical content fuse together with the music perfectly, creating a frenzied feeling in any and all listeners.

The standout tracks for me are ‘Evil Will Fail’ and ‘Resisting Fear’. These are two of the heavier offerings on the album and they rip. ‘Evil Will Fail’ holds no punches. It’s short, it’s extremely heavy, and it is laced with crushing riffs. Even though I enjoyed all 11 tracks from the album, ‘Evil Will Fail’ is hands down my favorite song.

Catalytic has a lot to live up to when they release their sophomore album, which will hopefully come summer 2017. Of course, when your first album is this good, the bar has been set very high.

I realize most people probably haven’t heard of Catalytic before, but take my word for it – this is definitely a band worth checking out. The second they cross the Indiana state line I foresee a raging inferno. So keep your ears open my fellow metalheads, because Catalytic is coming.








  1. Hello, my name is Don. I am a guitarist in a local Indy band called Rockin Horse. I am also the proud father of James Donner. Right now, I am so proud of this guy. When he was 16, I put a guitar in his hand, showed him a few basic things, answered a few questions and helped him with a few tech details, he said ok , now leave me alone with it…..and the rest is history. His dedication and work ethic are among the best, and his skills are a force to be reckoned with. Even tho I am more of a classic rock player, I have so much admiration for his playing, song writing and all the talent that he and his bandmates so greatly display. So, as a father, musician, and lover of music, you couldnt get more bang for your buck than these guys!….take the time to check them out, you wont be sorry…..rock on


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