Released: 2006, Nuclear Blast Records
It’s taken me until their 8th release to finally get around to listening to them, but this, embarrassingly, is my first encounter with Canadian hyperblasters Kataklysm. With a storied career full of classic albums, the extensive history of the band doesn’t need to be rehashed again here, so I’ll get straight to the music.
I’ve heard that Kataklysm slowly changed over the years from an all-out blast assault to a more groove-oriented style, and that latter description fits perfectly on this disc. There is still plenty of blasting going on, but there are some downright catchy songs on this disc! Case in point: opening track “Like Angels Weeping (The Dark)” is thrashy, and face-rippingly vicious, but the main riff of the chorus will stick in your head for weeks. “Crippled & Broken” sets a quiet, menacing mood before whipping into a blinding speed attack, finally settling into a slow, pounding groove come chorus time. My personal favorite, “To Reign Again” is ground out by one of J-F Dagenais’ best riffs on the album, and even spares some space to allow bassist Stephane Barbe to shine.
Kittie’s Morgan Lander provides guest vocals on “It Turns to Rust”, while Into Eternity’s Rob Doherty and Tim Roth provide some vocal and guitar help on closer “The Road to Devastation”, but to be honest, none of them add much. Fact is, Iacono and Dagenais are some damn strong in their respective areas that the guests weren’t needed. OK, Doherty’s vocals are pretty cool, but Iacono’s split growls & screams are really all the music requires.
Whatever, IN THE ARMS OF DEVASATATION is one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year and is a great jewel in the Kataklysm crown. Fans: go get it. As for me, I’ll definitely be digging into the back catalog ASAP.