Forget all the clichéd descriptions of Northern Hyperblast, the four-piece Montral and Québécois creative machine has turned in an album that sits firmly in the death metal camp, but at the same time fearlessly adapts and subsumes a range of styles.
The pure alchemy Kataklysm turn in on this album is a vicious styling of melodic death metal, merged in a melting pot of metallic elixir stirred with classic metal riffs, varied beats, and influences as wide ranging as Cradle, Amon, Death, Anthrax and Satyricon. There's even a riff on Under Lawless Skies that could grace a nu-metal recording - but nu-metal was never this vicious!
Overall this is an album that paints a bleak, dystopian world view, redeemed by musicianship that is plotted and designed not as a showy display of 'talent' but rather all the parts coming together to form a solid whole of unholy mayhem.
Kicking off with a melodic guitar intro on Fire the pace is unrelenting as If I Was God - I'd Burn It All tears into a set of sublime excellence. Kill The Elite and The Darkest Days of Slumber feature in the honourable mentions column, with album closer and recent single release Elevate and the pacy fury of Real Blood - Real Scars stand out as sheering sheets of slathering suspense amid the noise and chaos.
Guitarist JF Degenais co-produced clarity in the Krakken-like enormity of the soundscape with producer/engineer Zeuss. And it is perhaps Zeuss's previous recording experience with the likes of Hatebreed and Chimaira that has added yet more to Kataklysm's already impressive sound.
Vocalist Maurisio Iacono, in reflecting on this, commented:
"It was time for KATAKLYSM to make a change and challenge ourselves a bit more when it comes trying out new sounds. I think it's healthy to explore other avenues at this stage in our career, and Zeuss has worked with some bands we really like such as HATEBREED and SUFFOCATION.
"When it comes to full-blown power and making each instrument flow together in harmony, Zeuss is one of the top producers out there."
With an impressive cover art package (Eliran Kantor on the vinyl and digipack) and Peter Sallai (on CD jewel case and limited edition casette) Waiting For The End To Come is an overall album package that deserves respect for not only stretching the band themselves, but stretching the death metal definitions that corner too many bands into lifeless monochromatic clichéd chops - not Kataklysm. They have produced a special take in a special album, which is available now on Nuclear Blast.
Kataklysm play Belfast's Limelight2 on Thursday 16th January on a bill with Krisiun and Fleshgod Apocalypse. Tickets, priced at a very reasonable £16 for this stellar line-up of molten metal are still available. See y'all there.