(TheMadIsraeli continues his reconsideration of the music of Kataklysm. To see what this is all about, check out his introduction to the series here. Previous installments can be found via this link.)
Serenity in Fire (2004) is the first of newer Kataklysm albums I heard in full, and I have to say it still holds up as one of the best and most consistent representations of their modern sound. It benefits immensely from an almost perfect combination of melody and ballsy groove on songs like “As I Slither” (a song which musically fits its name) or the album’s extremely infectious opener “Ambassador Of Pain”, which has a Slipknot-ish feel in a good way.
There are other songs on this particular album that also really get me going, such as the blackened melodic death like fury of “For All Our Sins” or the outright blistering chaos of “Blood On The Swans”. The closing track “Under the Bleeding Sun” is also quite good, invoking Dark Tranquillity a bit.
This is a good album and it’s a fun album. Definitely worth a listen. Music after the jump.
This was also the first Kataklysm album I heard in its entirety, after hearing one song of Shadows&Dust (Years of Enlightenment, still one of my favorite Kataklysm songs) and being really impressed. I really like everything they did from this album up through Prevail and I have a hard time picking a favorite but this one probably would be it if I were forced to choose one. I loved the way they combined hardcore style grooves with melodic death metal to create something far heavier than swedish melodeath but still really melodic, I was impressed that they were able to avoid sacrificing heaviness for melody or visa versa and instead had both aggression and weight and melody in spades. it had a very “Epic” feel and had a huge influence on my own songwriting. I was also impressed by Maurizo’s vocals which have a very distinct character and are easily recognizable (I also modeled my higher pitched screams after his) and I thought the drums really stood out on this album. The title track is probably my favorite song from this one.
I hadn’t heard any of their earlier work with Sylvain and when I first listened to those albums it really threw me, though they were also brilliant in their own way too. This album, the one before it, and the next two are some of my favorite albums of all time and I listened to them constantly for a while, the riffage is just killer. After prevail I felt they started to get a little stale (sadly) still good, but something was lacking in terms of “fire”
part of the reason the albums from this era hold a special place in my heart is that I heard them just as I was starting to get into more extreme metal. I got into metal when I was like 14 when I found one of my dad’s black sabbath CDs (Paranoid) and I was hooked. I listened to classic 70s-80s heavy metal and thrash for about two years before I was introduced to melodic death metal through Amon Amarth. Bastards of a Lying Breed off of The Crusher was the first death metal type song I ever heard (somehow it popped up on my black sabbath station on Pandora) and I was at once terrified and fascinated. It was only a few weeks later when I discovered Kataklysm who were probably the heaviest band I had yet heard at that point. I was listening to Amon Amarth, In Flames, and Dark Tranquility then and had also just discovered Black Metal through Satyricon. Kataklysm remains one of my favorite bands.