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1. Dark Wings of Deception
2. Goliath
3. Die As A King
4. Bringer of Vengeance
5. Combustion
6. From The Land of The Living To The Land of The Dead
7. The Redeemer
8. Heroes to Villains
9. Gravestones & Coffins
10. The Sacrifice for Truth


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review by d. di giacomo



The colossus Goliath

Kataklysm, the lords of Northern Hyperblast Melodic Death Metal, reign again. Period. With their 15th studio album "Goliath", Kataklysm have outperformed themselves releasing a colossus of fierce and rabid sonic power because of breaknecking blast-beat-drums, massive guitar walls, enhanced guitar and bass sounds and techniques, surprisingly rasping vocals, varying tempos. James Payne (Hiss From The Moat - ex Hour of Penance and ex Vital Remains), Kataklysm's new drummer,  performs in a near-perfection way the (in)famous blast beats, mastering bass, and snare drum strokes. All this gives energy: from the first to the last song this album is crushing and charismatic.



Lyrics still explore themes of death, destruction, and revenge with no acceptance for parasites, cowards and traitors, yet I think that there is a renewed clear will to analyze current social aspects, even because this is the band's first post pandemia album.  For example, just consider the following lyrics from the song “The Sacrifice for Truth”

"Liberate the sane from this manipulation
The chains of control

They hail the monster that lives within us
They hail the skeletons that live beneath
They bury the truth, they bury the innocence
Will you sacrifice for truth? For truth"

Frontman Maurizio Iacono comments: "Our new album Goliath comes at a time in our society where division and hate are growing and spreading on a worldwide basis, where ideologies on how the future should be for humanity is colliding, This is also a time of unprecedented power structures fighting for the control of our lives, the story of David vs Goliath has never been more important than these modern times, Metal has always been a voice of rebellion against oppression and for the protection of our freedoms, the album also touches on inner conflict and doing what needs to be done to confront your inner demons.
The 'Bringer of Vengeance' single’s main idea is about a carefully and patiently plotted revenge. The song is inspired by the events surrounding the assassination of King Richard I 'The Lionheart' and the idea that it might take time but, one day justice will always be served".



Trademarks, old and new

The typical trademarks of the band are still here, unmistakable and even stronger yet no longer granitic since new elements appear, like very fast songs, the tuning to F#, even mightier bass lines, groove-oriented songs able to embrace a wider compass from dark to hardcore.  Vocals are mainly raspy and sour,  growlings are almost missed. Kataklysm has always shown the ability to adapt their signatures and to evolve their sound over time but with "Goliath" they have reached an excellent balance between their roots and new approaches. Nonetheless, when I listen to Goliath, I don’t get the impression that Kataklysm have elaborated new items only, because Kataklysm mix being keepers with being creative. Masterpieces taste right this way.


 Kings may be chosen by God

Goliath too begins with a movie quotation, this is to say a specific spoken line that is memorable, impactful,  significant. From the movie Medieval comes this amazing quote that introduces the opener "Dark Wings of Deception": “Kings may be chosen by God but they still make the mistakes of men". Great? True? Yes, great and true.


 The Sacrifice for Truth

 It doesn’t matter which track you pick up, because Goliath will always be an inexhaustible powerplant. Anyway, I would underline a couple of songs I am truly addicted to. In particular, I‘d like to mention "The Sacrifice for Truth", the song that closes the album and that ends with James Payne's concussive drumming that fades away as if the new musician behind the skins would get the honor to have the last word.

It may be strange to begin with the last song when speaking about a tracklisting, but "The Sacrifice for Truth" is the song I expected to find in Goliath. It shows the typical Kataklysm mid-uptempo with an impressive fuel, with impressive drive, with impressive rhythmics. It's mighty, catchy, and is crafting the perfect tone for Death Metal. But in my opinion, there is more: we have parts where we can distinguish the compelling, all-powerful rhythm from a kind of down-tuned accompanying lead, while the bass gets hotspots. It's brutally beautiful and involving. It will "kill "when played live. Majestic. Bone-crushing.


"Dark Wings of Deception" is heavy, with a very dark groove and unexpected tempo changes. At times even near to Black metal. "Goliath" is one of the newest acceptions brought by Kataklysm and quite far from mid-tempo with its rabid commanding strain.

"Die as a King" is another song I  am madly in love with; its syncopated riffing is incredible as well as incredible is its drumming that hits both with blasting attacks and very intense low bass kicks. It was love at first listening when it was released as a single. You can't help but get caught up in its catchy phrases and memorable rhythmics.

Also  "Bringer of Vengeance" is awesome, it  has been the first single and shows  modern Metal drop-tune guitars and a mesmerizing breakdown connected with the chorus "The time has come for thе world to witness
The time has come to answer in blood". Inspired by the assassination of one of my historic heroes  

King Richard I ‘The Lionheart’, this song is considered by some as a very good companion for gym and work out.

"Combustion" is a relentless uptempo and crunching ride that only gets just a minimal note change at its end. This makes you want to listen to it again immediately. With "From The Land Of The Living To The Land Of The Dead",  "The Redeemer" and "Heroes to Villains" Kataklysm execute, liquidate, destroy. With these three pitiless very fast bursts of annihilation Kataklysm conquer any version of Death metal and there is none for anyone. These three songs represent indeed the body of that aggressive acceleration that Kataklysm have put in this album.  Honestly, "Gravestones & Coffins" is the strangest Kataklysm song I ve ever listened to. This powerful chimera turns from a moderate pace that let's remind me even to sludge doom to relentless aggressiveness. In a few words, this song brings unusual phrases for the genre Death Metal and crossings over. Therefore "Gravestones & Coffins" is not so catchy, it’s a bit elitist; some metalheads find this track as the best of the album.



Letting Metal happen

Kataklysm are one of the very few bands made by true metalheads that play for metalheads. Kataklysm are one of the very few bands that truly embody Extreme Metal with a superb force performed also in live concerts. Goliath is a confirmation of this disposition and lets Death Metal pour on our heads.  In conclusion, Kataklysm make metal happen.



dalia di giacomo


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