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Kataklysm: Meditations (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

More than 25 years after they started, with singer Maurizio Iacono and guitarist Jean-François Dagenais having been there from the very beginning, this Canadian quartet are showing no sign at all of slowing down. Having won a Juno for their last album, 2015’s ‘Of Ghosts and Gods’, the guys are now back with yet another release that is surely going to find them in contention for some major awards. They are renowned for their use of blastbeats in their music, and that their version of death metal often brings in different styles and themes, and that is again very much the case here where they used Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax) to assist with the production, so that they didn’t slip too much into tunnel vision.

The result is a very melodic death metal albums, although still a very long way removed from what one would normally expect the term “meditations” to actually mean. That term normally implies contemplation or consideration, whereas here we have a band that are consolidating their position as one of the top death metal bands around, one that refuses to conform to what one might well expect from the genre, and instead slows things down with almost gentle guitar duets, before getting back to the task in hand. They manage to bring a real groove into the music, something that really assist in getting invested in what they are doing. This is an album where I found that I kept turning it up that little bit more, needing the volume oy match the intensity of what was going on, but I’m sure the neighbours enjoyed it as much as I did. Complex, and often going outside the genre one normally expects from them, this is music with little in the way of boundaries and is all the better for it. They are showing no signs of either slowing down or compromising their ideals, and like a fine wine they just keep getting better with age.

Rating: 8/10

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Track list:
1 Guillotine
2 Outsider
3 The Last Breath I’ll Take Is Yours
4 Narcissist
5 Born To Kill And Destinied To Die
6 In Limbic Resonance
7 And Then I Saw Blood
8 What Doesn’t Break Doesn’t Heal
9 Bend The Arc, Cut The Cord
10 Achilles Heel

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Links:
http://kataklysm.ca/
https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/

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