KATAKLYSM, w. Aborted, Death Toll Rising & Archspire
The Republik, April 11th, 2014
Photos by Jeff Thorell
Review by JP
For Metal shows, The Republik is not bad but not great. It has good bars, good merch area, coat check etc… and the venue is always metal friendly. However the sight lines are pretty poor with lots of support poles obstructing views on the three-tier design and a tiny stage. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of shows here over the years in this club that holds several hundred, so it was familiar place for a Friday night gig. I must admit my enthusiasm was a little subdued as I have seen Kataklysm many times over the years but I was still looking forward to the gig.
Vancouver’s Archspire was taking turns rotating the opening slot with Death Toll Rising. The quartet hit the stage pretty much on time with a pretty full room for early in the night. Not much hair on display as the band ripped through an aggressive 30 minute set. I’ve always been curious about bands with no bass guitar but their repetuation is well-deserved as they brought lots of energy early on.
From just 300km north, Edmonton band, Death Toll Rising was up next. they have played Calgary many times and I have seen them many times and they never disappoint. As one of Alberta’s premier Metla bands they brought a pile of the Death/Thrash sound that is so popular in these parts.
Up next was Aborted. This is the second time Belgian bashers have been to Calgary and the band I was most looking forward to seeing. I must admit I was disappointed. Sven of course is the only original member of the band and the line-up changes so frequently that the entire ;one-up (except for Sven) was completely different from the last time I saw them! Of course with that massive turn-over it is hard to keep consistent and they have slowly evolved into a more modern Death Metal style, moving away from what originally attracted me to them in the first place. A few of us old school Death Metal fans noted the change and even Sven acknowledged the changes. At one point he said, ‘Do you want to hear some old stuff?” which of course elicited a roar of approval from the crowd. Then he said, “Too bad for you!’ and they ripped into a new song! The new album was not even available for sale at the merch booth! I made a note that ‘real’ Death Metal bands don’t ask the crowd to do the ‘Wall Of Death’ or do the pogo jump-jump move on stage. Despite my complaints, it’s still crushing Death and it was just not too my taste or as good as my recollection of the last time I saw them .
Editors note: Due to a technical difficulty there’re no pictures of Kataklsym. Our apologies.
I’ve seen Kataklysm about seven or eight times, because they tour their homeland of Canada for every album cycle, dating back to when they signed to Nuclear Blast and the Prophecy album in 2000 or so. It was not one of their best nights. Their were a couple of things notable about the show. First their Guitarist JF had a family emergency (his father passed away) and for the first time in almost 20 years he did not play the show. Well, technically the second time as he did not play the night before in our sister city of Edmonton, 300km north of us. Danny Tunker from Aborted filled in on guitar and did a very good job. Morale seemed a bit low but the band is so professional they pulled off a gig. The set was shortened to 10 songs, naturally as Danny only had a day to learn some songs, but they did it. That night was also notable as they announced that the stand-in drummer, Oliver Beaudoin (ex-Neuraxis) was now a full-time member.
Maruizio commented on the local hockey rivalry which is always good for some cheers. The band opened with Prevail and they only played stuff from the last four albums or so, which is fine, I’m glad to see they are not stuck in the past. I’m glad to see that ‘Iron Will’ made the set list as it was appropriate under the circumstances. Despite everything they did a great job and it was always good to see the band anytime.