Kataklysm – Heaven’s Venom

By Rob Kachluba

One can say Kataklysm have found a formula since In the Arms of Devastation that for the most part has been a solid slice of heavy grooved death metal. Their previous album, 2008’s Prevail, had a few bumps in the road but for the most part it was a true and tested formula of chunk infused riffing with a strong sensibility of songwriting.

Strange thing for me in this new album: it starts off in true Kataklysm fashion but it seems recycled as if it’s all been heard before. It is not a bad thing, but I expected more. Then lo and behold track five “Hail The Renegade” starts to show the band in a new light. A heightened sense of dynamics and some extremely hooky melodic flourishes show their head but what surprised the hell out of me was a bass and a guitar solo. These are as rare as a Bigfoot sighting.Those little touches that go off their structured patterns really make the album stand on its own. The arrangements on these later songs show you that there are still some new ideas in this Canadian northern hyperblast machine that keeps them at the top of the death metal pack.

(Nuclear Blast)

Rating: 7.5

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.