KATAKLYSM Serenity In Fire (Nuclear Blast 2004)
I have many times declared my eternal admiration for all Canadian Metal bands. I have never listened to a band from this Northern American country that fails to impress me. Kataklysmís 7th studio release "Serenity In Fire" only managed to strengthen my above mentioned statement, especially since itís one of the best extreme albums I have listened to so far this year.
The bandís strength was the rhythm section so I felt a bit worried when I found out that the band has a new drummer, Martin Maurais. Kataklysm fans, do not worry! Martin is a really impressive drummer who brought fresh air to the band and helped make "Serenity In Fire" the best album the band have ever recorded!
This album combines many different styles of extreme music, something I believe Mr.Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisyís frontman) is responsible for. Peter appears in "For All Our Sins" which I believe is the albumís best song. I will not be surprised if I find out that heís also responsible for the excellent production of the album, but unfortunately I cannot verify this information since the press release doesnít mention anything about that.
Back to the album: "The Ambassador of Pain" with itís rhythmical catchy riff and the quite impressive backing vocals proved to be an excellent choice for an opening track.. The first taste of Martinís drumming abilities will come with "The Resurrected", a song based on blastbeats, deep Death Metal vocals and evil screams provided by the three remaining members of the band. Kataklysm are capable of composing catchy but not commercial riffs, just listen to "As I Slither" and youíll see what Iím talking about. After my favourite "For All Our Sins" you have nice thrashy-influenced songs like "The Night They Returned" and "Serenity In Fire" combined with brutal Deicide-influenced hymns like "10 Seconds From the End". Martinís fastest performance is on the "Blood On The Swans" which can considered to be a Kataklysm classic. "The Tragedy I Preach" is one of the most melodic songs of the album with excellent guitar work. The album will end as impressively as it began with "Under The Bleeding Sun", another Death Metal killer.
My only consolation is that, if the band continues to produce albums the way they do, I will only have to wait for a year before holding their next release in my hands, and believe me, this is exactly what I intend to do.
Review by John Stefanis