Goliath

Kataklysm

"Goliath” is one of the best Death Metal albums of this year and belongs to the collection of every Death Metal fan
November 23, 2023

Canadian Death Metal icons KATAKLYSM released their 15th full-length album this summer. Formed in 1991 in Montreal, the quartet look back to a 32-years illustrious career of Northern Hyperblast at the early stage, and a more melodic Death Metal approach during the last decade or so. Jean-Francios Dagenais produced “Goliath” as always, Chris Clancy (DEATH ANGEL; MACHINE HEAD; OVERKILL) and Colin Richardson (BOLT THROWER; CANNIBAL CORPSE; MACHINE HEAD) did the mixing and mastering at Audioworks Production, UK. The album has a length of about 41 minutes, and it was released via German Metal institution Nuclear Blast.

The album has a grim and crushing start with devastating guitar riffing and the relentless KATAKLYSM trademark drumming, something the band is known for. While the drumming has changed in recent years, there are still “blasting” moments on their albums, and that is certainly one of them. “Dark Wings Of Deception” is blisteringly fast, it has spine-chilling melodies in combination with the typical growling vocals of Maurizio Iacono, which altogether provides a great start to the album. The title song is more a mid-tempo song, with plenty of double-bass drumming and thunderous guitar riffing. “Goliath” has a few changes and twists in tempo and rhythm, and it is driven by the versatility of the vocals. “Die As A King” has a pummeling start transitioning into a verse part at crazy speed. The track contains another trademark element of the KATAKLYSM sound: the epic and slightly melancholic chorus melodies at a measured tempo and a characteristic head-banging rhythm. “Die As A King” is the ideal track for a video release, and the YouTube link is provided below.

After three tracks of pure mayhem, “Bringer Of Vengeance” provides something different, a bit slower, but with thunderous and superheavy riffing. “Bringer Of Vengeance” is a classical KATAKLYSM head-banger with high intensity in the sound and the vocals. “Combustion” continues with the head-banging sound combined with many double-bass attacks. The vocals include a few of the trademark screams of Maurizio Iacono. Highlight of the track is the versatility of the drumming as there are many subtle changes in rhythm. “From The Land Of The Living To The Land Of The Dead” may not be the catchiest song title, but it is surely an album highlight for those, who like it fast, faster, and fastest. There is plenty of speed, there are epic and melancholic melodies, and fans of crazy drumming will not be disappointed. The track is not something completely new on KATAKLYSM albums, but this sound just belongs to any of their albums. “The Redeemer” starts with a short pre-lude, introducing the grim melodic framework of the track. In terms of pace, it just continues from the previous track, but with more aggression in the riffing and vocals during the verse parts and with darkness in the melodies during the break. “The Redeemer” is the perfect mixture of aggressive Death Metal hammering and blood-freezing melodies. In my view, the track is one of the album highlights.

Heroes To Villains” underlines that “Goliath” is one of the faster albums of KATAKLYSM in their recent history. Combine the tempo with cool melodies that have a slight melancholic and catchy touch and add a couple of head-banging parts for the chorus, and you have a great track. Highlight for me are those tension-building parts prior to the chorus melodies. “Gravestones And Coffins” is a mid-tempo track for most parts. The riffing is thunderous at times, and the basslines are crushing. The drumming on the track is again very versatile with the ever-changing rhythm of the track. The album closes with “The Sacrifice For Truth” and the pre-lude starts at crazy speed with crunching basslines. The verse and chorus parts are at a measured tempo and a head-banging rhythm, while the melodies are epic and melancholic. In particular, the extended break belongs to one of the most epic moments of the album. “Goliath” finishes with a real banger and this is what the album deserves.

KATAKLYSM deliver a monster of an album. “Goliath” is arguably the best KATAKLYSM album of the last decade. It has everything that defines the trademark KATAKLYSM sound: the pace, the thunderous riffing, the epic and melancholic parts, the head-banging parts, and the iconic drumming, kept all together by a vocalist who is on top of his game. Despite the album sound follows the well-tried KATAKLYSM path, it sounds fresh and dynamic. The album is very well produced. “Goliath” is surely one of the best Death Metal albums of this year and belongs to the collection of every Death Metal fan.

10 / 10

Masterpiece

Songwritting

9

Musicianship

10

Memorability

10

Production

9
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"Goliath" Track-listing:
  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 And Coffins
  10. The Sacrifice For Truth
Kataklysm Lineup:

Maurizio Iacono – Vocals

Jean-Francios Dagenais ­ Guitars

James Payne – Drums

Stephane Barbe – Bass

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