|Review: Kataklysm - Heaven's Venom|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2010
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: September 25, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (15 Votes)
I was taken a bit by surprise when I first listened to Heaven's Venom – my first reaction was along the lines of "whoa, this sucks." Fast forward a couple of listens later and the little things start to surface. For "the Northern Hyperblast" (or whatever they used to be nicknamed), this is a rather tame and melodic release which sounds like a cross between actual Death Metal and Gothenburg-style Melodic Death Metal – the vocals especially are very close to the "standard" style used in the latter genre and that alone dilutes the strength of the album and gives it a more accessible sound.
Fast, blasting Death Metal parts are few and far between on Heaven's Venom, sharing the stage with much more toned-down melodic passages. Alright, considering this is Kataklysm, such thing is a bit hard to take, but when you pay attention the parts are pretty damn well done and very rich-sounding – lots of stuff going on and it takes several listens to absorb it all. What I liked the most on the album however are the more mid-paced, thrashy passages where the crunchy guitars are razor-sharp and just fire through the speakers like a marching army. This is where the albums feels the most metallic, the heaviest and even the most old school.
Kataklysm took a turn into a more accessible sound here while steering clear of blatant "commercialism" (mostly.) No doubt people will be expecting something else coming in, and the only advice I can give is to give it a few listens before giving up on it – you could be surprised.
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