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Breathe to Dominate - 95%

TheSkrypter, March 26th, 2012

My first opinion about this album was quite different from what it is now, because when I bought the album I only knew the title track. Why is that any relevant? Because the title track is probably one of the most relentlessly brutal songs in the entire Kataklysm discography. I heard that song at a time in which I counted Misery Index, Nile, Hour of Penance and other very brutal acts in my playlist, and for some reason I thought the whole album would sound as brutal as well. The fact is that it doesn’t, the title track is the heaviest track on the album, and I felt a bit disappointed because ‘Prevail’ was not that brutal. But I wouldn’t give up on this album, and I started listening to it for what it is, and not based on comparisons or expectations. And that’s when I saw just how damn good this album really is.

Maurizio’s vocals are amongst the most fierce he has ever done, he sounds more aggressive than in any of the previous albums; even though he keeps his dual register, he really brings it on when he growls, very good! Besides, the lyrics are also very focused on belligerency, warfare, absolute superiority and dominance, which add to the overall aggressive tone of the album.

The guitars are standard Jean-François, very thick and explosive riffs, balanced by powerful intermediate sections and highly skilled solos. The way he is able to mix a high dose of aggressiveness in those faster parts and then comes out with incredible dense melodic parts that never allow you to lose the sense of ‘heavy’ is unique. The bass is actually barely noticeable. The drums, however, show a very precise (as usual) Max, who can blastbeat like a maniac, gallop through endless sections of double bass and keep it flawless in slower parts.

The songs are each and every one a blasting force of in-your-face death metal, and sometimes the very intensity of these themes makes you wonder whether this actually is a melodic death metal album, or something else. The production is excellent; you can hear everything that is going on there very loud and with a certain dirty feel which conveys that healthy dose of aggression indispensable on a death metal piece. Each and every one of these tracks is suitable to be played live, there are no fillers here. You can listen to any of the ten tracks alone and it will guarantee you an undeniable urge to move your neck – even the instrumental closing track is an excellent death metal opus. If you like death metal and you don’t give this album a fair chance, you will surely be missing some serious ass-kickin’ head banger.