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cool - 79%

ironasinmaiden, January 24th, 2003

I suppose I should thank MTV2 for galvanizing my flagging interest in Kataklysm.... for whatever reason, Shadows and Dust did not click immediately. Maybe I was expecting some hyperblast mayhem, or less "tame" production values? Kataklysm are the missing link between savage old school death metal and that stuff you sing along with in your car. I hesitate to use the term "vocal melody", but lead gruntman Maurizio Iacono belts out some seriously infectious lines. In the era of gee-whiz technicality and blood drenched album sleeves its cool to hear a band focused on songcraft. And onward with the review...

After a sample and some chug-a-chugga riffage, "In Shadows and Dust" commences the mosh... like its predecessor Epic, the guitar tone here is totally top notch... crisp and pummeling. Kataklysm's riffs never fail to bludgeon in an old school Dismember fashion. In between verses are well placed blast beats and dense, melodic tremelo picking almost reminescent of Amon Amarth. "Illuminati" actually reminds me of something off Carcass' Heartwork... crucial riffs aplenty.

My friends reports of hardcore kids going apeshit during Kataklysm (on the Haunted tour) are validated by tastefully used breakdowns, enough to shatter the monotony of a standard death metal track (although deez Canucks are anything but standard death metal). "Beyond Salvation" is just an excellent song, worthy of several horns and rapid fire headbanging. "I am beyond salvation... I am beyond redemption... I am beyond the ones you heal... YOU KILL!"

The almost rock'n'roll edge that permeates Shadows and Dust is what sets Kataklysm apart from their peers. Melodic death that isn't totally lame? Imagine that!