Kataklysm - Prevail
Nuclear Blast
Deathcore (Emphasis on the Death)
10 songs (44:22)
Release year: 2008
Kataklysm, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by James

There seems to be some kind of miasma descending over Quebec at the moment. After Cryptopsy's embarrassing own goal that was The Unspoken King, self proclaimed “Northern Hyperblast” merchants Kataklysm seem to be headed down the same path. There's no cringe-worthy clean singing here, you'll be glad to hear, but there is a worrying amount of sub-Sepultura groove and “mosh parts” here. And don't get me started on those half-rapped verses on the title track.

The band haven't completely plunged over the abyss, mind, and there's just about enough “Northern Hyperblast” (sorry, but it never looks quite right without the quotation marks) here to keep older fans happy. Max Duhamel gets up to some impressive speeds here (those bursts after The Chains Of Power's chorus are particularly powerful), annoyingly clicky drum sound not withstanding. He values out-and-out speed over technicality, which fits better with the simple, stripped-down sound of this record. Most of the songs are around the 4-minute mark and follow a fairly tight verse-chorus-verse structure. It works to the album's strength, as the focus is solely on smashing your face rather than the weird “progressive” wig-outs that turned The Unspoken King into even more of a incoherent mess than it was before.

Unfortunately, the music flips between good and bad several times in the space of a single song. Tear Down The Kingdom starts out with some tremelo riffery and blastbeats, but ends up lapsing into familiar mid-paced chugging and a particularly feeble breakdown, before coming back to the aggression that opened it.

Despite my criticisms, Prevail isn't all that bad when judged on its own terms. There's very little offensively bad here (despite some laughably poor lyrics) and there's a very even keel in song quality, despite the fact that every song seems to have an equal amount of entertaining bits and bad bits. The band haven't forgotten their roots, and they can still cause some serious damage when provoked. There's also a nice melodic streak here, and I'm a sucker for a nice harmony bit. Vocalist Maurizio Iacono sounds impressively authoritarian, although I prefer his shriek to his growl. Somehow the album manages not to get boring despite itself, holding your attention throughout its running time. If you've no problem with groove and thick hardcore influence, feel free to add 10 points to the score.

Killing Songs :
Taking The World By Storm, Tear Down The Kingdom
James quoted 68 / 100
Alex quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Kataklysm that we have reviewed:
Kataklysm - Heavens Venom reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Kataklysm - In the Arms of Devastation reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Kataklysm - Serenity in Fire reviewed by Jay and quoted 93 / 100
Kataklysm - Shadows & Dust reviewed by Alex and quoted 95 / 100
Kataklysm - Epic (The Poetry of War) reviewed by Alex and quoted 72 / 100
6 readers voted
Your quote was: 94.
Change your vote

There are 9 replies to this review. Last one on Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:49 am
View and Post comments