Kataklysm
Sorcery


5.0
classic

Review

by skeggjadr USER (7 Reviews)
May 4th, 2006 | 17 replies | 8,146 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

While many death metal bands adopt the cliched (and I don't usually have a problem with metal cliches) "Blood, Guts, Gore" approach, which is fun for a while but gets pretty boring, Kataklysm take a different approach. As the album title tells you, this is about something mystical, and I think this adds a great feel to the music and offers something a little different.

THIS is the true "Northern Hyperblast" and I can describe this album in one word: Chaos! Thier last release, In The Arms Of Devastation, doesn't feature any of the "hyperblast" drumming that gave Kataklysm their sound and, had boring song structures with uninspired subject matter... Sorcery is a million miles away from this.

The main contributor to this chaos is oustanding vocal performance (if you can call it that!) of Sylvain Houde (who was obviously also the main inspiration behind the mystical theme of the band). The vocals are simply crazy and range from typical low end death growling to insane high pitched shrieks which have more in common with black metal. The lyrics are sometimes sung with no apparent structure or regard for what the music is doing, and sometimes Sylvain just makes random crazy noises... but this just adds to the choatic feeling and somehow it works! The vocals are often layered, mixing the high with the low and incorporating those random shreiks over the top of the lyrics. It sounds totally mad, but as I said before, somehow it works, and the most oustanding thing is that it never sounds forced: Sylvain ACTUALLY sounds like a madman. I have never heard, nor will I ever hear, vocal insanity like this EVER again. Truly unique and one of the factors which helps make this album different to anything else.

The other thing that gave Kataklysm their unique style was the drums. Max Duhamel has to be one of the best extreme drummers in the world, just listen to those blast beats and the double bass work! Although there is A LOT of "hyperblast" drumming on here, it never gets repetitive because there are well placed tempo changes and slower sections, probably best demonstrated on the first (and my fave track) Sorcery.

And what about the riffs? It's typical death metal stuff, but it has the perfect blend of melody and brutality, which is something few bands can achieve as they usually lean towards one or the other. The guitar work is sometimes technical and sometimes simplistic, but always heavy, and has a great tone.

The production is for the most part clear (although on one track when there is a solo it sounds like a demo), but at the same time the music sounds raw and organic: just how this type of music should sound. Perfect.

For me early Kataklysm just has that "something" that all too many bands lack these days (and Kataklysm HAD, but have now unfortunately lost). The song structures are like the music itself: you never know what's coming next. Although I mentioned that Sorcery is my favourite track, none of the tracks really stand out, as the whole album just blends into one with each song being just as brutal and seemingly haphazard as the last... but as I keep saying, somehow it just works! I love the sheer insanity of this, but I must add that it's definately not for everyone: you will either love it or hate it.



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user ratings (57)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Pterazord13 (4.5)
An absolutely chaotic, brutal, and well-written death metal album that remains one of Kataklysm's gr...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shred Danson
May 4th 2006



118 Comments


Wow, so would you say this is different than their previous two CDs? I have to get this.

Cravinov13
May 4th 2006



3854 Comments


this is a great death album, though not quite a classic.

SoulReaper
May 30th 2007



184 Comments


not enough people know this era of Kataklysm... too bad cuz its frikkin amazing!

FR33L0RD
June 1st 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I just get their discography
I will dig them soon


FR33L0RD
July 11th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

omg...
Thats not easy to listen to
Many songs are too chaotic for me
Indeed..the singer is a ...... madman
The vocals are overshadowing the guitars & ruining the songs(my two cents)
and im not against growling vocals,i listen to a lot of DeathMetal

======================
Nice review..you have my pos vote
This Message Edited On 07.11.07

kalkal50
September 4th 2007



2386 Comments


if you don't like this then how can you like death metal

FR33L0RD
September 4th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

because a lot of death metal bands are much better than this band(this album)

kalkal50
September 4th 2007



2386 Comments


sure but I notice you don't like entombed or dismember?

FR33L0RD
September 4th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I dont have Entombed yet, and i have one album by Dismember --The God That Never Was (3.5/5)

I will get my hand on few album by them soon.

kalkal50
September 4th 2007



2386 Comments


You should get Like an everflowing stream and left hand path

FR33L0RD
September 4th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@ kalkal
I will, they are supposed to be their best work.

kalkal50
September 4th 2007



2386 Comments


sure are, although the first three Entombed albums are all really goodThis Message Edited On 09.04.07

FR33L0RD
September 4th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

cool, thanks

FR33L0RD
September 20th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I cant stand this album
BUT
i really like the following album by Kataclysm:
"Serenity In Fire(3.5/5)" & " In The Arms Of Devastation (4/5)" This Message Edited On 09.20.07

EnCrypt.
March 26th 2010



882 Comments


nothing kataklysm does will ever be 5 star material.

DoctorVelvet
March 21st 2013



99 Comments


Album is brutal. Still not sure how I feel about these vocals though. They sounded quite jarring to me on first listen.

Digging: Cryptopsy - None So Vile

calixtobass13
December 1st 2013



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a must for old school death metal fans. This albums rips your soul into pieces ten fold. I see that there is a lot of controversy between Houdes vocals, but I assure you his performance does not disappoint on this album. The vocals are some of the most unique and brutal I have ever heard in the genre. The way Houde purposefully makes his vocals as chaotic as possible somehow works with the sick riffage happening and fast paced drumming. It is unfortunate that bands do not compose like this anymore.



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