Album review: Meditations – Kataklysm

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There is plenty to enjoy on the new album from Canadian metal act Kataklysm. Meditations is their 13th studio album and we see the band again make subtle changes to their sound and in doing so delivering a very strong metal album.

Kataklysm has always produced very solid records, but with Meditations, this might just be their most focused and complete one yet. I love the sound of this new record. The production is clean and crunchy, perhaps a little more commercial sounding than previous releases but it suits the songs very well. The band hasn’t given too much away with the release of videos for the singles Guillotine and Narcissist. Both tracks are short but punchy, particularly the latter. They operate on a groove-based riff and the bands signature driving rhythm section. Both Guillotine and Narcissist are very strong tracks in my opinion and their short run time certainly whets the appetite for more. The good news is, there is better still to be found on the album.

The musicianship throughout is tight and there are some killer riffs to get the head moving. I’ve long been a fan of vocalist Maurizio Iacono and he gives what I consider to be his best performance on Meditations. He has always had a distinct style and great clarity to his voice, he sounds better than ever here, especially on the more up-tempo tracks such as Born To Kill and Destined To Die, The Last Breathe I’ll Take Is Yours and the furious In Limbic Resonance. There is a great balance between stomping, groovers and the faster more urgent songs. It makes for a varied and engaging listening experience.

Meditations is an angry, in-your-face record, the lyrics are biting and there’s a real punch and authority to the songwriting, nothing goes overtime here, Kataklysm choosing instead to go straight for the knockout and they certainly deliver that. Because of the brevity of most of the tracks you’re tempted to dive straight back in once you reach the end of the final track Achilles’ Heel. Be warned, you might want to give your neck a rest before you do.

I’m pretty impressed with this record, Meditations is a brutal and confident sounding metal album, go get some.

Pick up a copy from Nuclear Blast or wherever good metal is sold!

Keep it heavy! \,,/

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