Kataklysm have had a rich history in the what an be considered the mainstream death metal scene often proving to be most fans gateway into extreme metal. With the band having quite an extensive back catalogue across their many years its a wonder in 2018, with expectations being so high, if a new release from the band can live up to seminal albums such as In 'Shadows & Dust' or 'Serenity In Fire', two records the band are often measured against.
It hasn’t been long since the band teased us with ‘Guillotine’, a track which in fact opens up ‘Meditations’ nicely with plenty of promise providing the listener shades of Kataklysm of old. Chunky riffs, melodic hooks and plenty of double bass are all in abundance all of which largely continues to be the formula until we hit ‘Narcisist’, one of the more heavier moments of the record that will allow for plenty of fist pumping and head nodding even if the track doesn’t even hit the 3 minute mark.
Its at this point we have ourselves a very mixed bag of music. Some of which could be mostly forgettable until that next great moment hits us. ‘And Then I Saw Blood’ draws us back into the record as we were probably off making a cup of tea. More hooks and more great moments to headbang to throughout, its not death metal, but then Kataklysm have not been a true death metal band in many years.
‘Bend The Arc, Cut The Cord’ begins our final stages of Meditations with some great melodic Kataklysm moments we have come to know and love from the latter part of their musical career. Reminiscent of ‘In the Arms Of Devastation’ the track proves that the band still have it within them to make truly great heavy music in what is possibly the stand out moment of the record. It should undeniably make up part of a setlist in any forthcoming Kataklysm live shows.
‘Meditations’ shows us that Kataklysm are still able to make a fine record even if it doesn’t hold up to those that came before. Those who prefer the bands early works will likely skip this effort after a listen or two and those who are into the Kataklysm of new, will find themselves with a record of great moments worthy of a place in their collection.
'Mediations' is released June 1st through Nuclear Blast Records