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Review: Kataklysm - In The Arms Of Devastation
In The Arms Of Devastation

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 41:07
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3.4/5

Review online: January 19, 2006
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
In The Arms Of Devastation

Rated 3.54/5 (70.77%) (13 Votes)

The much anticipated follow up to 2004's "Serenity In Fire" is finally here. Through their relentless aggression and timeless albums one after the other, Canada's Kataklysm have no doubt crafted their very own sound that is completely distinguishable from any other death metal band out there. But this 2006 offering shows signs of the war machine running out of steam.

Perhaps it is the replacement of Martin Maurias, but this album is very different from Kataklysm's recent outings. The "hyperblast" is almost completely done away with. No kidding! The album opener is a viciously fast song with sharp and plentiful riffs, as is the follow up track to it. But after that, the band just delves into mostly mid-tempo death metal with a lot of groove and melody. You remember the trademark hyperblast and the machine gunning drums? Gone! You remember the 10 million cataclysmic riffs one after the other in every single song? Well their quantity has gotten very limited; unfortunately. Sometimes down to only a couple riffs per song. They've even started doing that whole wall of floating distortion thing in the background which is quite common in melodeath bands.

That being said, this is not all that bad of an album. The reason for my criticism is that it lacks the brutal speed and the amount of riffs that you would normally expect from a Kataklysm record. Expectations aside, "In The Arms Of Devastation" is still a good platter of death metal and it still sounds like Kataklysm. But while previously they accomplished that with an unusually strong emphasis on blasts and an abundance of riffs, this time they approach it with a stronger vocal emphasis. In addition, this is by far the most melodic Kataklysm release to date. A little too melodic at times - to the point of annoyance, as on the last track – Kataklysm decide to shift back and forth between their sound and Gothenberg style. It is an unusually painful song to sit through. There is no doubt that Kataklysm have mellowed out on us. In all honesty, this album is not brutal at all.

So all in all, while "In The Arms of Devastation" is a good album on its own terms because it is pretty catchy and the boys do deliver at least two total shredders, it will be a disappointment if one has been following the band from previous releases and expected more of the classic hyperblasting Kataklysm or even the tech. death Kataklysm.

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