Kataklysm: Waiting for the End to Come

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Kataklysm: Waiting for the End to Come
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Kataklysm: Waiting for the End to Come
Death Metal
Nuclear Blast Records
October 25th, 2013
Release length: 45:06
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Kataklysm is a band that nearly every Death Metal fan is familiar with. Over the years, they have built up a solid fan base for their brand of “Northern Hyperblast” Death Metal, refusing to let melody seep into their brutal audio assaults. The group formed back in 1991, and since then have issued ten full-length albums, and a bit of a shift in the group’s sound starting with 2008’s Prevail, but most infamously in 2010’s Heaven’s Venom, the album that met with much disapproval from critics and fans alike. Three years later, the masters of bludgeoning Death Metal from Canada return with Waiting for the End to Come, but will it be met with satisfaction, or the same disgust as their previous outing?

Waiting for the End to Come doesn’t find Kataklysm returning to their more aggressive sound that made them a household name for so long, but rather explore what Heaven’s Venom began to set up. Gone are the days of Epic: The Poetry of War and Shadows & Dust, but what exists is a nice medium between the traditional Death Metal values, and their recently discovered melodic side. “Fire” actually starts off teasing a bit of Black Metal input with a guitar intro that is cold and and eerie. This is never brought up again sadly, and quickly erupts into a mixture of blast beats and subtle grooves pushed by the tight drumming. The harsher growls fit the dim atmosphere, and the backing rasps add a little extra bite to the faster passages. When the pace slows down, the impact is a little more blunt, shifting into a catchy, authority driven build-up to the somewhat melodic chorus that manages to capture the darker environment perfectly without losing any of the edge. While not the most powerful offering, the crisp audio captures some energy, as well as a commanding performance that will make banging your head along mandatory at times.

“Dead & Buried” shows the band’s more melodic side, and how it can greatly impact the atmosphere. The main verses and some of the bridges are a little on the traditional side when it comes to hooks. The chorus, however, picks up the pace, setting up music that goes from rather depressing to truly inspiring. The music itself takes a page right out of In Flames‘ big book of riffage, thankfully leaving out the clean vocals to keep the intensity alive and well. “The Darkest Days of Slumber” lives up to its name with the landscape it sets up, though not quite as rich in the guitar work as “Dead & Buried”. The main verses have a slower groove with some technical leads that give a little extra bite, and while not the most enthusiastic song, the entire effort is handled well, giving a professional bass-heavy performance that leaves just enough of a lasting impression to keep you comin back for more.

While there’s a good deal of solid material, there are some that are highly memorable. “Like Animals” packs plenty of energy in some of the main verses, as well as additional technicality in the riffs and drumming. The slower chorus is simple, but has a deeper backbone to it with a beat that is sure to incite a pit anywhere, shifting in and out nicely with tension building commanding bridges. “Kill the Elite” doesn’t quite have as infectious a groove outside of the deeper chorus, but the tight clicking of the bass kicks matched with some technical and melodic riffs create an ominous atmosphere that becomes grand around the three minute mark, hitting the listener hard. The only gripe here is the cymbals in the chorus are performed a little faster than the general beat, being a bit distracting.

Waiting for the End to Come isn’t the most awe-inspiring of the group’s releases, and is sure to upset those who want a return to the early days, where solid Death Metal and chaos reigned. But, for those willing to give it a chance, you’ll experience a recording from a band that is continuing to grow and nurture their new musical direction. Even at its weakest moments, this is still catchy enough to make you at least bob your head along to the rhythm. The performances vary in energy, quality, and intensity, making it a well rounded experience all together, and one that never really lets you down, or gets old. Kataklysm have been struggling to make this new approach work, and this time they prove the hardships are starting to pay off. Waiting for the End to Come is a heavy, catchy slab of groove oriented Death Metal laced with truly atmospheric melodic Death Metal creativity that is far more memorable than it has any right to be, becoming a vital gem of the band’s most recent releases you simply can’t put down willingly.

01. Fire – 5:28
02. If I Was God – I’d Burn it All – 4:38
03. Like Animals – 3:26
04. Kill the Elite – 4:16
05. Under Lawless Skies – 3:30
06. Dead & Buried – 3:12
07. The Darkest Days of Slumber – 3:53
08. Real Blood – Real Scars – 4:32
09. The Promise – 4:29
10. Empire of Dirt – 3:46
11. Elevate – 3:56
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Kataklysm
Kataklysm

Digital review copy of this release provided by Nuclear Blast Records.