Back with their eleventh full length, 'Waiting for the End to Come', Montreal's melodic death Metal quartet Kataklysm are back on target after 2010s slightly disappointing offering 'Heaven's Venom', but in twenty two years they are allowed a little slip up and this latest release more than makes up for that, serving as a worthy successor to 2008s excellent album, 'Prevail'.
Previously Kataklysm were known also for labelling their musical style as "Northern Hyperblast", after seeing Fear Factory's music described as "Hyperblast", referring to the extremely fast blast beats that their former drummer, Max Duhamel, was renowned for.
On this release, the drums, covered by Olivier Beaudoin, are not quite as fast, but the machine-like speed is still there to a greater extent and what he slightly lacks in speed he more than makes up for in technical ability. This time around they have definitely gotten their game on, the sound is full and intense and Maurizio Iacono's vocals are, as always, a powerful and interesting mix of growls and screams.
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Starting with a dark, haunting opener, 'Fire' opens out to a catchy mix of punchy and melodic guitar work, cut through with Maurizio's vocals; an excellent start to the album. Opening on a sound bite, 'If I Was God - I'd Burn It All' is punchy, dense and brutal from the offset and one of the standout tracks of the album.
Another great track, 'Like Animals', is intense brutal and exciting with a sleazy, chugging groove.
The opener on 'Kill The Elite' is quite ominous and expectant, panning out to a catchy melodic riff and although Maurizio's vocals are great across the whole album I particularly liked how he has employed them here, with the mix of growls and screams and sinister spoken, another excellent track.
'Under Lawless Skies' has a punchy, mechanical groove which I liked, contrasted against the melodic guitar element midway and towards the close. 'Dead And Buried' is up tempo with a good groove and at times some very fast drum work; a good track.
On 'The Darkest Days Of Slumber' there is a fascinating opening to the track that builds with an interesting mix of drum work and chugging guitars, which feels like it is rushing towards you to engulf you, before turning mid paced with a good groove, I did expect it to pan out to something bigger but nonetheless it is still a good track.
'Real Blood - Real Scars' is a mid paced track that builds slowly, becoming slightly more intense as it reaches its finale. 'The Promise' builds to an aggressive pace but still maintains a groove. I loved the lyrics on 'Empire Of Dirt', an intense track with a catchy repeat riff.
Final track 'Elivate' has a powerful and almost dark emotive feel to it, laced with pounding drums between the melodic guitar elements; an excellent album ender.
If you have enjoyed their previous releases you certainly won't be disappointed in this or if you like a ballsy, melodic death sound you should find this impressive offering an interesting listen.