Any fan of metal knows exactly what they’re getting when it comes to a Kataklysm album and their impressive 12th release Of Ghosts and Gods is no exception. The groove heavy riffs, thunderous blast beats and Maurizio Iacono’s signature growls, Kataklysm are on top form yet again with their latest offering.
After the staggering success of their last full length release Waiting for the End to Come, the Canadian four piece set themselves a very hard act to follow. However, it’s safe to say that any Kataklysm fan, or any fan of melodeath in general will find Of Ghosts and Gods an absolute treat to listen to. The influence of producers Mark Lewis and Andy Sneap is strong on this release, as several tracks have distinct Devildriver and Amon Amarth vibes throughout, both of whom Mark and Andy have worked with previously.
A distinguishing feature on Of Ghosts and Gods is the sheer power behind several tracks. Opening number Breaching the Asylum consists of chugging guitars and rapid tempo changes that make for a strong and entertaining listen. Marching Through the Graveyards and Soul Destroyer possess such robust and infectious riffs and Thy Serpents Tongue and Vindication showcase the repertoire of skills in drummer Olivier Beaudoin’s arsenal brilliantly. For those who prefer a heavy, pitting anthem fear not, as both Hate Spirit and Marching Though the Graveyards will conjure up quite the tempestuous pit when inevitably played live. It’s clear throughout listening that every member of Kataklysm has clearly poured all their energy into the album, as they literally do not put a note out of place on any track.
Perhaps one minor criticism on Of Ghosts and Gods is that the album is not one for keeping the listener hooked from start to finish. It is an entertaining and commanding release, however each track does sound very similar to the one beforehand (with the exception of closing number The World is a Dying Insect) and you can become somewhat complacent whilst listening. Also there are slight metalcore –esque solos on the album at points, which could alienate the more extreme side of Kataklysm’s fan base.
Of Ghosts and Gods is undoubtedly going to be huge. Kataklysm’s fantastic blend of both the extreme and commercial aspects of the realm of heavy metal makes this a very easily accessible album which is guaranteed popularity with existing Kataklysm fans whilst having the potential to draw in a new crowd. This is the perfect example of a band with a cracking work ethic, as after 23 years in the business, they still work damn hard to create a solid, idiosyncratic album.
(7/10 Eilish Foxen)