Prevail (1st Review)

The easiest way to explain Kataklysm of the past decade is a box of Cheerios. Listening to Kataklysm is like eating Cheerios, you know they are not the most exciting death metal band out there but it is a safe bet they are palatable. The most daring they have gotten in recent years is Honey Nut Cheerios and I keep hoping they will come out with the trail mix edition, complete with nuts and fruit. Sylvain Houde is still my vocalist of choice for Kataklysm, with his range and out of control delivery. The music was equal to the vocals, then Sylvain left…

Prevail is ten songs and forty-four minutes of polished well produced hyperblast. More fodder for the live show. The slower more melodic sections are generally cool but not awe inspiring. Check out the end of “To The Throne Of Sorrow.” There are also slower sections that feature the rhythm section. The signature faster passages have plenty of energy but not explosive intensity and the vocals are just too much in control, clearly enunciated and semi-harsh. I’m trying not to dump on them too much, but the rhythm section plays too much of a role sometimes, getting a bit redundant. What is that strange backing vocal effect like coming over a radio broadcast? “Blood in Heaven” has a nice solo in the middle that is more about distortion than notes. Maurizio is still perfecting his version of beauty and the beast vocals and his delivery is nicely done on “The Vultures Are Watching,” which also has a cool protracted ending. The final song is called “The Last Effort” and is a lengthy instrumental which early on reminds me of Amon Amarth, then we get into the high speed melodic guitar before settling down, a nice album closer. The best songs are “The Vultures Are Watching,” and “The Last Effort.”

Due to the fact they are from the Montreal area and I have been following them since their demo days I give them more latitude than other bands. Granted they don’t need my support, their non-stop touring has earned them quite a following, but I continue to give it to them. The last ten years has seemed tame by comparison to the Sylvain years, (Sylvain was actually my first choice in baby names, alas I didn’t get to use it, I had girls) but In the Arms of Devastation finally warmed me to the new style. Their more mainstream (for death metal) approach works for them and for their legions of fans, and it helps that they have an immense stage presence to back it up. I prefer more freewheeling edge of your seat linear compositions, yet I keep reaching for another box of Cheerios.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
June 12th, 2008


  1. Commented by: swampthang

    The best thing is that their ain’t no nu metal guests on this, the worst thing is I saw a nerdy goth mallcore kid sporting a shirt of this band surrounded by tubby chicks in tight slipknot shirts. eh whats the world coming to

  2. Commented by: axiom

    They certainly do deliver as a live band. I should check out that early material. What album do you recommend?

  3. Commented by: swampthang

    Epic (Poetry Of War) is a very sweet disc well in my opinion

  4. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Sorcery. End of story

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