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Album Reviews : Kataklysm – Meditations

By on August 28, 2018

Canadian death metal legends Kataklysm are renowned for their unique melodic death metal style, showing a clear evolution over the years from their more traditional sound. The band has returned this year with their thirteenth studio album ‘Meditations’, one that shows just how solid the band are even after all these years.

The album begins on a rather regal note with a powerful saying; “For Evil To Triumph, it only takes good men to do nothing”. It’s clear right from the start that Kataklysm isn’t going to spare the listener, for the first track “Guillotine” just comes forging through with a ferocity like you’ve never heard before. The dual vocals and blast beats boast the sheer madness of Kataklysm’s music while J.F Dagenais’s shreddery absolutely cuts through it all. That intriguing melodic nature of the music continues into “Outsider’, a hook-filled, energetic track that, aptly named, brings out the uniqueness of their style.

At times the melo-death feel does come through but only just and this can also be seen on the next one “The Last Breath I’ll Take is Yours”, probably one of the most magnificent tracks I’ve ever heard from this band and is probably one of the album’s strong points. Everything about this track is intense from the vocals to the groove-laden death metal riffs and emotive atmospheres. “Narcissist” has one of the coolest intros on the album with a captivating low, guttural call of sorts before it builds up into this absolutely massive song that also throws light on the mad skills of drummer Oli Beaudoin and seems to hold a certain magnificence about it.

There’s a clear sign on Kataklysm’s evolution musically as this first part of the album has a lot going on that could come across as amazing or potentially confusing to someone who has listened to the band for years. Things start to sound more like ‘old’ Kataklysm on tracks like “Born to Kill and Destined to Die” as well as “In Limbic Resonance”, two extremely crushing tracks that boast the band’s trademark death metal style at every minute. Thick basslines and riff-heavy, these are sure to be crowd-pleasers, tracks that will no doubt have your neck at its mercy. Maurizio’s vocals are as deadly as ever, delivering the best I’ve heard in years.

Thick basslines and riff-heavy, these are definite crowd-pleasers, one that will have your neck at its mercy. “And Then I Saw Blood” comes in with a brilliant intro that steps into black metal realms and brings out more of the melodic side of the band. However, closing tracks “Bend the Arc, Cut the Cord” and “Achilles Heel”, are without a doubt, the standout moments on the album as they showcase just how well this band has mastered that modern death metal sound with melodic elements for good measure. Emotional and filled with blast beats and dark melodies that are truly captivating, not to mention the thought-provoking nature of the lyrics. These songs are downright heavy and really convey the message that the band is trying to get out there.

After a few listens and really paying attention to every track, you start to understand the meaning behind the album title and finding its relevance throughout the album because, throughout ‘Meditations’, you find many reflective moments and pauses for thought. ‘Meditations’ is undeniable diverse and definitely holds some of the strongest tracks of the band’s career but the music is not exactly revolutionary or new for Kataklysm. While they do exhibit experimentation, the album consolidates their signature sound and what they’ve been doing well for the past 20 years.

Band: Kataklysm
Album: Meditations
Year: 2018
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Origin: Canada

About

Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.