Coming out of Quebec, Canada, we have ourselves another long-running death metal band who've helped to shape and pioneer the scene in which they strive. Kataklysm is a four-piece outfit that combines old school death metal with elements of melodeath and thrash metal. Since their 1991 inception, this "hyperblast" group has released, to date, over a dozen full length albums and several EPs and compilations. Now their latest full length is upon us all.
Meditations serves as the band's thirteenth full length release. Unveiled through Nuclear Blast in June 2018, this new album consists of ten tracks compiled into nearly 40 minutes of death metal content paired with some pretty neat historical and destructive themes. Meditations is available both physically on a few different formats including CD as well as digitally.
The album begins with a rather fast pace following a brief audio sample. In the opening track 'Guillotine' you've got some staple death metal riffs packed with decent sounding drums and the usual Kataklysm harsh vocals. If you listen closely and try to make out the lyrics, they're actually kind of catchy, which is the best thing I can say about this track. It serves as a warm-up for what's to come later on.
The following song 'Outsider' has a pretty solid interlude comprised of epic vocal work and some strong transitioning between parts. At one point, the echoing of the vocals leads into a thrashy metal riff that closes off the track. Overall, the production quality is phenomenal, especially by OSDM standards. Nearly every song had some sort of redeeming quality that pulled me in at some point, such as a well thought out introduction, a handful of intruiging guitar solo action in 'In Limbic Resonance', and the general structure of the closing track to Meditations. Additionally, 'Narcissist', while a short song, happens to be one of my faves from this album because of its bass lines and chorus. It's short, but sweet and to the point.
While I had some fun with Meditations, it is by no means the most innovative or groundbreaking. There is creativity at work in small doses here and there; but, overall, it's nothing you've haven't heard before, especially from Kataklysm. The riffs are pretty much recycled in several tracks and vocal variety is same as it's always been. Also, I wish there was more guitar solo work and tracks like 'In Limbic Resonance' and 'Achilles' Heel', which were my faves because of their structure and guitar riffs.
In all, I'd say for a 13th release and after so many years, I wouldn't fault a band too much for running out of ideas at this point. Even so, what's on display here still represents the same ecstatic and well-paced death metal music we've all come to appreciate from the genre. Meditations is a fairl late-career release for a band like Kataklysm...certainly enough to keep you satisfied for 40 minutes.
Fave Tracks: 'In Limbic Resonance', 'Narcissist', 'Achilles' Heel'
For Fans Of: Cryptopsy, Obituary
**This release is available now here!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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