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Epic: Poetry Of War (CD)
Self-described as "northern hyperblast," Kataklysm plays a mix of technical death metal, grindcore, and more melodic, Scandinavian-tinged black/death metal on this album, their fifth full-length. The songs here combine the aforementioned styles in a logical, non-schizophrenic fashion within each song, resulting in a coherent yet also relatively diverse album, at least as far as this type of extreme metal goes. Drummer Max Duhamel's percussion work is especially notable for its variety of rhythms, as he switches fluidly from blastbleats and double-bass onslaughts to slowed-down death metal grooves and the occasional triplet-based shuffle rhythm. And while there are a few overly familiar-feeling riffs here and there, the songwriting is consistent and solid; only "Tormentor of Souls," with its annoying vocal catch phrase, comes across as subpar. On the whole, this is a good effort from Kataklysm, and due to its more melodic nature (compared to their earlier work), it makes a good intro to the band for listeners who are skeptical about the more extreme end of death metal. ~ William York, Rovi
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