F U L L . R E V I E W S


Kataklysm - In The Arms of Devastation - 2006 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing
1. Like Angels Weeping (The Dark)
2. Let Them Burn
3. Crippled And Broken
4. To Reign Again
5. It Turns To Rust
6. Open Scars
7. Temptation's Nest
8. In Words Of Desperation
9. The Road To Devastation
For fifteen years, Kataklysm have plied their so-called ‘Northern Hyperblast’ style of death metal, never letting more than two years pass between full-length’s since their debut album Sorcery back in 1995. Despite shuffling through numerous members over the years, their sound has weathered the trends and remained relatively consistent: an almost trademarked array of meaty, buzzing riffs, omnipresent bass kicks (hence the nickname) and a heavy emphasis on groove that leaves little room for soloing. Though not very well versed in their discography, I would still be surprised to learn if they ever had more than five guitar leads on a single album.

‘In The Arms of Devastation’ is Kataklysm’s eighth album, and likely their most high profile. The album features the reinstated Max Duhamel on the skins, which would perhaps indicate a return to classic form after the mixed success of ‘Shadows and Dust’ and ‘Serenity in Fire’. However, while ‘In The Arms of Devastation’ does indeed rumble along ‘the road to devastation’ in convincingly Kataklysmic fashion, it never arrives at its destination. The album boasts solid production, eye-catching and symbolically rich artwork, and even some high-profile cameos, but despite these handicaps and gimmies, Kataklysm still has yet to convert mer.

The album will likely appeal greatly, though, to those who already favor the band. It is a reliable and smoothly crafted effort with some spots that shine, such as the unexpected mellowness that opens ‘To Reign Again’, the excellent, slippery groove of ‘Open Scars’, and about half of the album’s focal point, ‘The Road to Devastation’. As mentioned previously, there are also guest artists on this album who contribute to the overall appeal and diversity of the album, but subtly. Morgan Lander of Kittie appears on ‘It Turns to Rust’ to provide backing vocals, which could give some fans pause, but fear not, she does not play a prominent role in the song, nor do any clean vocals appear. Additionally, guitarists from Into Eternity provide one of the album’s two solo sections for the album’s last track, though their involvement, too, is quite brief.

As previously stated, though, while these variations are pleasant and well meshed into the album’s folds, ‘In The Arms of Devastation’ still does not live up to its hype. Over their career, Kataklysm have had an unfortunate habit of half-writing their songs. They are, by nearly anyone’s standards, capable of writing excellent and memorable riffs, but for each good one there is another that lumbers lazily along an open E, relying on its inherent heaviness and tone to validate its presence. I had hoped that on this new album Kataklysm would not make this mistake as often as they previously have, but alas, it is not yet resolved. However, the half of the song that they do write is indeed getting better, which bodes well for future efforts. That, and the gurgling half-shrieks of vocalist Maurizio Iacono now have more body to them, which better compliments the rest of this gain-heavy troupe.

Kataklysm have long provided metal fans a mainstay group to fall back on in hard times—a responsible and steadfast name to blast and raise up the horns to. However, though ‘In The Arms of Devastation’ does tempt, it is not yet time for me to cast in my lot with them, and I shall await a more complete effort.


--Etiam 03.10.06

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: KATAKLYSM
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
In The Arms of DevastationKataklysm
2006
Etiam3/15/2006
PrevailKataklysm
2008
Hail and Kill9/19/2008
Victims of This Fallen WorldKataklysm
1998
Nate Turpin3/19/2003


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: KATAKLYSM
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Heaven's VenomKataklysm
2010
Ben McCraw10/11/2010


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: KATAKLYSM
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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