Kataklysm
Meditations

Few fans of extreme metal have not heard of Kataklsym (even if you haven’t, you’ve probably accidentally seen them live as they seem to tour oh about 350 days out of the year), as these Canadians have been going strong for damn near 30(!) years.  Their last album, Of Ghosts and Gods, just seemed to miss that “it” factor and came across as a very flat album overall, so the big question was: can these metal behemoths get back to what has endeared them to so many?

Press play on the first track, “Guillotine”, and when that first stabbing riff and blast beats come ripping through your speakers, let that smile creep across your face… the Kataklysm you know and love is back.  Maurizio Iacono seems to have that fire back in his voice, which is saying something for a man who has seen this band through what is now their 13th full length album.  Jean-Francois Dagenais is still here masterfully manning the strings, as one of the two OG members (along with Iacono).  Oli Beaudoin (Ex Deo, ex-Neuraxis) has really stepped up his drumming from Ghosts, and the rhythm section is rounded out by long-time bassist Stephane Barbe.

The wreckage continues with the catchy and mad-as-hell “Outsider”, with a nice tempo change coming with “The Last Breath I’ll Take is Yours”.  This leads to what is my favorite track on the album, “Narcissist”, which just has that vintage Kataklysm “punch” and would have been right at home on In Shadows and Dust.  The tempo is brought down a bit again for more melodic closer “Achilles Heel” which is a perfect ending to this album.  All the songs are very well written, and have choruses and lyrics you can’t help but yell along with (or bob your head to if you’re in a place that yelling might be frowned upon).

This is just a phenomenal return to form for one of the absolute best in the business.  To keep your sound relevant and fresh after this length of time is incredibly promising, and bodes very well for the future.  The production is top notch, and you might just find yourself listening to this album two or three times and surprised that nearly 40 minutes have gone by each time.  If you were less than impressed with their last one give this one a go.  You’ll be glad you did. 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
August 9th, 2018

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