Kataklysm – Meditations album review

Canada’s dogged melodeath deviants Kataklysm click into a new groove with Meditations

Kataklysm Meditations album cover

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Kataklysm Meditations album cover

1. Guillotine
2. Outsider
3. The Last Breath I'll Take Is Yours
4. Narcissist
5. Born To Kill And Destined 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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Poster boys for death metal persistence, Kataklysm have never achieved the notoriety that their relentless onward march should have delivered by now. Part of the problem is that the Canadians have never conformed to standard notions of how death metal should sound. 

On Meditations, an obvious debt to 90s groove metal and post-Fear Factory precision places them midway between underground extremity and a more mainstream-friendly approach. In truth, it’s a fervently modern hybrid that suits them and which they have been tinkering with since the early 00s with varying levels of success. Here, they have nailed it. 

Brutish opener Guillotine and the insanely catchy Outsider set the tone, all stripped-down riffing and hammering kicks, before the album blossoms into a thrilling frenzy of hyper-precise tech-thrash anthems topped with refined melodeath melancholy. The band’s 13th album deserves to be a lucky one. 

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.