Kataklysm - Epic (The Poetry of War)
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
9 songs (39'38")
Release year: 2001
Kataklysm, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

If you are into death metal you should be familiar with the Canadian band Kataklysm. These guys have been around for a while releasing albums at a very steady pace. Their music in the past was fast, angry and brutal earning them the nickname “Northern Hyperblast”. I, personally, often used their music for an opportunity to vent my own frustrations. So, this morning I felt pissed over a couple of things that happened lately. Grabbing Kataklysm out of the pile was a natural thing to do. And then I was in for a surprise, as completely different emotions overwhelmed me while listening to Epic. Having noticed that Metal Reviews does not have this album reviewed I decided to share my thoughts with our audience.

The first couple of tracks are your typical Kataklysm. Technical death metal over blast sections alternating with chugging riffs. I think I can even hear some hardcore flirtations. The difference comes with the dilogy called Roma. Both tracks – Era of the Mercyless and As the Glorious Weep – are exercises in melodic brutality, with the emphasis on melodic. Not since the best days of Hypocrisy I have heard such a melodic wall of sound. No wonder the album is called Epic. The songs build up slowly engulfing you with the potent feeling of anguish and despair. The band goes with this approach a few more times on Wounds and When Time Stands Still. There is absolutely no way I am saying that Kataklysm softened up. I guess often overused word “maturity” would be very appropriate here. As long as you continue to bottle up your rage and anger it is bound to come back and cause pain. Finally, the band lets it spill out in the form of these groovier songs. With all this hidden melodicism the band maintains their technical edge and clean production, the drums are fast when they have to be, and the singer ranges from the death growl to the black shriek (not my favorite in this context). I wouldn’t mind at all for Kataklysm to continue in this direction as not every song on Epic is as good (lose the hardcore influences, please!). Another moment worth mentioning is some thrash overtones (very Swedish like) on Manipulator of Souls.

While not a masterpiece Epic is a very good album from the experienced veterans of the genre exploring their different side. It is purely my guess, but it feels that it was a personal album for Kataklysm which they enjoyed making immensely. Time to go find their latest Shadows and Dust and give that a spin.

Killing Songs :
Era of the Mercyless, As the Glorious Weep
Alex quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Kataklysm that we have reviewed:
Kataklysm - Heavens Venom reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Kataklysm - Prevail reviewed by James and quoted 68 / 100
Kataklysm - In the Arms of Devastation reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Kataklysm - Serenity in Fire reviewed by Jay and quoted 93 / 100
Kataklysm - Shadows & Dust reviewed by Alex and quoted 95 / 100
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