The temperature was almost in the single digits last Saturday evening when Dark Tranquility brought their Moment tour to Detroit’s northern suburbs. The poorly plowed roads and the negative degree wind chill did not deter Michigan metalheads from witnessing the trailblazers of Gothenburg’s Melodic Death Metal Scene. Everyone briskly trotted into Pontiac’s acclaimed music hall to catch the two opening acts of the evening. Nailed to Obscurity and Kataklysm were invited along on this tour which made for a deliciously stacked bill. Built in 1830, the Crofoot building is a historic phenomenon and local treasure. The large building contains three venues in one and is known for catering to heavier bands. This prized entertainment complex was a fair choice for a night of big, blistering, music.
Four years after regaling us with stories of Carthaginian General Hannibal on The Immortal Wars (Napalm Records) Canadian/Italian death metal act Ex Deo return with more tales of ancient Rome on fourth full length release The Thirteen Years of Nero (also Napalm). As its title suggests, the central theme this time is the reign of Imperator Nero Cladius Divi Claudius filius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (or plain old Emperor Nero to his friends) and the matricide, uxoricide, blood, fire and death which followed him.
Ghost Cult’s Keefy recently caught up with Maurizio Iacono of Kataklysm about their new album Unconquered, out September 25 th via their longtime label Nuclear Blast Records. We chatted about the new record, the longevity of the band, how the band prepared for this new album, making the video for “The Killshot”, working once again with visionary artist Blake Armstrong on the return of the “heart beast” artwork, how the band is dealing without touring, his other projects with new music on the way such as Ex Deo, his growing hot sauce business, and a discussion of Keefy’s favorite live Kataklysm performance, at the Trois Rivieres Metalfest. Purchase Unconquered here and check out our conversation! Continue reading
Death metal legends Kataklysm are fast approaching the June 1st release of their brand new album, Meditations, due of from Nuclear Blast Records. The prolific band has had an influence on countless other artists in the genre in their twenty-five-year career. In this exclusive video for Ghost Cult, watch frontman Maurizio Iacono discuss what he’s currently listening to in order to whet his musical appetite. Continue reading
Montréal melo-death legends Kataklysm has charted a course for a busy 2018 including a killer new album and massive amounts of gigs. Their new album Meditations is due out on June 1st via Nuclear Blast. The band just shared a new single, complete with a lyric video for the track ‘Guillotine’. Check it out! Continue reading
It was a sad say indeed when, on February 17th 2014, Canada’s Ex Deo announced they were going on an indefinite hiatus and a third album was “unlikely”. Thankfully, it transpires that the Canadian definition of “indefinite” means just over a yearContinue reading
Ex Deo will be releasing The Immortal Wars on February 24th via Napalm Records, and they’ve just released their first epic video from the upcoming record. Continue reading
Not that it really needs to be stated, but they’re not reinventing the wheel here.
And with a career dating back to 1991, no one really is expecting Montreal, Canada’s Kataklysm to go pop-punk or try space-rock on their 12th studio release, Of Ghosts and Gods (Nuclear Blast). Instead, what you have here is Maurizio Iacono leading his death metal bruisers through 10 crushing, if conventional tracks.
Hey, it’s not like Fear Factory or Obituary flip the script on its listeners on a consistent basis either. What we have here are numbers that either fall under melodic death or more standard groove metal. Ultimately you do get your blast beats and searing guitar work. Seems to me that’s what lots of death metal fans are looking for anyways.
On the melodic front it seems like At the Gates’ At War with Reality was an influence in the writer’s room. In terms of song structure and pace, album opener ‘Breaching the Asylum’ and ‘Thy Serpents Tongue’ have strong connections to that Swedish landmark.
I can really get behind the groove of ‘Shattered’ and ‘The Black Sheep.’ Truth be told, those are probably the strongest moments on the album. ‘Hate Spirit’ (even if it’s opening may recall The Black Dahlia Murder), finds its strength in groove again and Stephane Barbe’s rubbery bass lines.
Unfortunately, ‘The World is a Dying Insect’ fumbles both the groove and melodic thing with its uninspired riffs and 6 minute running time. Final song hiccup aside, Of Ghosts and Gods is not a bad listen. Kataklysm fans will find no reason to turn their backs on this Canadian institution. No one is demanding a new sound as much as a more polished version of it. And as I stated earlier, Obituary and Fear Factory are also playing the same songs over and over, but they sure do know how to play those songs.
Maurizio Iacono (Kataklysm) appears on the Jamey Jasta Podcast. Stream it below.