Kataklysm - In The Arms Of Devastation
The Canadian death metal squadron Kataklysm officially formed in 1991. In the beginning their approach to death metal was extremely frenetic and intense and that is probably the main reason why the term Northern Hyperblast often was used to describe their unique style. Since they have been playing together for such a long time the tightness of the band is something that instantly comes to your awareness. Over the years their sound also has matured a bit and the song writing is by far more diversified and dynamic at this point in their career. It is still quite brutal but also packed with catchy hooks or melodic riffs that make a perfect balance towards the extreme core of the music.
In The Arms Of Devastation is the 8th album of Kataklysm and even if I haven't heard the whole discography it's safe to say that this is their strongest effort to date. If you like me are a big fan of heavy crushing riffs that makes your neck swing you will love this album since there are tons of them. The guitar riffs are also quite varied and we are apart from classical death metal riffs also served guitar work that smells speed/thrash metal as well as melodic black metal in mid-tempo. The vocals from Maurizio Iacano belongs to the better half of today's death metal scene and he varies a lot from deep grunts to light screams which also prevents the album from being repetitive.
The opener Like Angels Weeping (The Dark) sets the standard at once with fast ripping guitars and pumping double bass drumming from Max Duhamel. The riff that follows the chorus is totally awesome. Crippled And Broken must be mentioned as one of the highlights, it starts with a slow and extremely heavy riff that almost could be classified as doom. The pace is picked up a bit in the verse but when the chorus arrives we are back to the heavy riff from the beginning and it is just brilliant. The best song however is about to come because To Reign Again is my favourite pick of the album. It starts with a calm intro which somewhat reminds me of Metallica but after a while a crushing riff takes the leading role. During the verse you can almost sense what's about to come, the chorus is nothing but fantastic with the title repeated and the heavy yet melodic riff as companion. After this peak the quality level of course is lowered but there are no fillers on this record whatsoever.
For the first time Kataklysm has succeeded to mesmerize me from the beginning to the end. I have liked songs they have made earlier but not entire records because I have felt that they were a bit too much if you know what I mean. This is a mind blowing feast of heavy riffs and I'm sure this will be a killer to witness live. If they sharpen their song writing just a tiny bit for the next album they will enter the elite of the genre they belong to.
also review of: Prevail