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Classic Review: Kataklysm - Sorcery

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 1995
Duration: 46:11
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.3/5

Review online: December 26, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating

Rated 4.29/5 (85.83%) (24 Votes)

Anytime I mention how cool Kataklysm's recent works are, I am told (by the hardcore death metal fans that is) that their early stuff is what Kataklysm are known for; that the sheer madness and chaos of Kataklysm rests firmly within their demos and full length debut "Sorcery". Well, one thing is for sure…this album is just br00tal!!111. Yes…brutal with two zeros, two exclamation marks and three "1"s at the end.

The differences between the new Kataklysm and the old one are far too many. THIS is technical death metal. It is NOT catchy. These guys were clearly showing off on this record. No doubt about it, and they deserve to. At these speeds, I do not know how these Canadians keep it together and play this.

I do however think that this album is purely a hit or miss type of thing. At least in most cases. It is in some respects like Dark Angel's early albums. There is so much brutality and so much going on in the music that it just overwhelms the listener sometimes and it is easy to get lost in the music. They throw a lot of riffs at you in all too short of a time span and it takes a bit of getting used to. And the vocals are just lethal. If you think you know brutal vocals, think again until you hear this guy (This is not Maurizio Lacono on the mic. It's the previous dude – Sylvain Houde). This guy's voice alone is more Earth shattering and agonizingly vicious than any other vocalist I have ever heard. But he sounds really cool and every growl leaves you hungry for more! This is not at all for the faint of heart though.

All in all, I think if you give it some time, death metal fans will like this album because there is some real gold on it. The 'hyperblasts' are not so common on here, although the music is for the most part fast and heavy. The song arrangements are really thick and fortified and the vocals are perhaps the most extreme aspect of it. Cryptopsy or Suffocation in their harshest moments could not capture this level of brutality. If you like it brutal, and think Kataklysm's recent works are watered down versions of technical death, this just might be up your alley. The cover art is also pretty cool and everything about "Sorcery" has a vicious and morbid feeling to it. You can read the song titles below and figure out what the absolutely-undecipherable-lyrics are about. No surprises there…

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