Nothing stands in the way of Canadian Death Melodic titan Kataklysm.
Formed in 1991, the band features frontman and founder Maurizio Iacono (vocals, Ex Deo, Invictus), Jean-François Dagenais (guitar, Ex Deo, Invictus), Stéphane Barbe (bass, Ex Deo) and new recruit James Payne (drums, Hiss from the Moat, ex-Hour of Penance, ex-Vital Remains) for the release of Goliath, their fifteenth album.
Dark Wings of Deception opens the album with a short vocal sample followed by extremely heavy riffs, to which jerky leads are added, followed by the vocalist’s vindictive howls. The slow groove is contrasted by devastating drums with a quasi-permanent double kick, which are featured on the energetic Goliath, the eponymous composition, which sees the band return to their Old School roots while benefiting from an overwhelming modern mix. The track is a little short, but its rage extends to Die as a King, which couples lively verses with unifying choruses reinforced by epic melodies. The band gives us a very brief respite before Bringer of Vengeance comes in to molest us with dark, ominous riffs, which are enhanced tenfold by the impressive mix. A melancholic melody is added in the background before a martial final, followed by Combustion, which mixes an energetic approach with a raw, jerky sound under the frontman’s vociferations, alternating between piercing scream and massive growl, then the band returns to Old School roots on From the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead, which places an energetic blast under a devastating rhythm. The Redeemer offers a relatively gentle introduction, before letting the musicians go wild again, not forgetting a more haunting break, before Heroes to Villains kicks into high gear again, letting the rhythmics run riot. We’ll also note the sharp harmonics that emerge from the mix, leading us to Gravestones & Coffins, a relatively more restrained track allowing the musicians to create slower, darker passages, then the album comes to an end with The Sacrifice for Truth and its driving touches that skilfully blend with the Canadians’ usual heaviness, sometimes infused with melancholic melodies.
Kataklysm still reigns over Melodic Death with its own distinctive touch, making Goliath instantly recognizable. The album will undoubtedly please their fans, while remaining relatively accessible to newcomers in search of a heavy sound.