Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

To Uncreate - 95%

kalervon, June 6th, 2013

I first heard this album in the Winter of 1994 when a friend, who operated a small music counter in the corner of college’s bookstore, made me listen to it. He gave me the earphones to his portable CD player and selected track #4, "The Orb of Uncreation". As inevitably followed, I was blown away. It might not be the song with the fastest blast beats ever recorded (despite the term "Northern Hyperblast"), but its intro is brilliantly orchestrated. It begins with the end of a guitar chord, terminated by an unspectacular drum hit, which is then followed by a 3 seconds bass solo, again terminated by a similar drum hit; then 3 seconds of silence, and then... as someone wrote in another review (but I just can't say it better): it's as if the gates of hell opened at once and all the damned souls flied out in agony. The 50 seconds that follows of blast beats overlaid with Maurizio's and Sylvain's vocals are perfection itself. This is what death metal is all about, just insane. These musicians had an innate sense for timing and contrast. Then Sylvain announces the song (by naming it); while a more digestible guitar riff plays in the background. The rest of the song is just pure madness; no chorus, no verses... just insane riffing, blasting and more insane vocals. What a way to end this EP and leave us wanting for more. Not even halfway through the song, my mind was made; I had to have this CD.

The rest of the album is a trilogy, actually a demo which had been released before but not very widely distributed. The line-up on the CD doesn't reflect who played on it. Cleverly wordsmith, "Kataklysm summons:" describes who was in the band when the CD was released. But apparently, the recording features two guitar players (one who is not credited) and a different drummer than the one who is credited. I'm not sure whether that includes "The Orb of Uncreation"; but if the drummer on that song is Ariel Saïd, then it is sad that he never played drums on any recording again, because he was good.

The three songs which form the trilogy have quite different intros from each other, but they have otherwise absolutely no structure. They take you wherever they go, and never come back on familiar grounds. Again, no verse/chorus concept here. The lyrics are sung so fast they are impossible to follow even with the booklet.

To compensate for the dramatic intro on "The Orb of Uncreation", "Frozen in Time" which opens this CD, begins as a wall of sound. This was original for the time. "Here at Stonehenge.. I stand in front of my nightmare" is already sung while the CD only clocks 7 seconds. That first song contains innumerable tempo changes, to which I got quite used by now. "Shrine of Life" may be the most conventional death metal song here. It begins in the slow-pace style of Obituary. It was understandably featured on some compilations back then, but it is not the song which made Kataklysm stand apart. However, it quickly evolves in something chaotic. In one of the parts, there is a duel / confrontation between Maurizio and Sylvain, which shows how well their voices worked in contrast.

Something must be said about the lyrics and concept (those who don't care, please stop reading; I won't be talking about music from here onward). Kataklysm's lyrics were at the time influenced by the so-called Necronomicon (the 1970s one, available in paperback by Avon Books; whose cover logo looks like the center of Kataklysm's logo; henceforth referred to as the Simon Necronomicon) and a role playing video game called Ultima (namely the fourth instalment, released in 1985). The same is also true of the band's second trilogy, first recorded as a corporate demo following this one and again recorded for the Sorcery album: "The Vortex of Resurrection" (eventually "The Rebirth Vortex of Creation"), though that one had elements of Ultima VI.

The lyrics make the following story: The protagonist is at Stonehenge (probably during a dream or trance, not for real), with a book of magic spells. Following the ritual, he pronounces two names: Tiamat and Thoth. The first name provokes whirlwinds, while on pronouncing the second name, the protagonist commits suicide. He then enters the netherworld of Absu (end chapter I). Following are battles on different astral planes, eventually for the protagonist to return to his own body as a zombie (end chapter II). After walking to a shrine, either for real or during a dream, he opens another book and repents himself from his "will of death". At this time, his body explodes and his spirit is set free to reincarnate (end chapter III).

The Simon Necronomicon is mostly a simplification of some elements of Assyro-Babylonian mythology with some Derlethian extrapolations. In it there are two opposed sets of gods: the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods: the former are the bad guys who want humanity's demise. The names mentioned in this Kataklysm trilogy are all Simon Necronomicon Ancient Ones: Tiamat and Absu, which are real Mesopotamian deities (in the real Babylonian creation epic, Tiamat is symbolized by seawater and Absu by fresh water) and Leviathan (though a Phenician deity better known for being mentioned in the Old Testament, he is associated by “Simon” to Absu and Lovecraft’s Ctuhlhu). A possible exception is Thoth, a name referring to an Egyptian deity; it could be the short form of Azag-thoth, the Simon Necronomicon’s spelling of Lovecraft’s Azathoth. As for the places mentioned in the trilogy, Kutu (where the protagonist is frozen in time) is another Simon Necronomicon invention, which he links to the "great underworld ocean" where the Ancient Ones live, so equivalent with the world of Absu. The Gate of Ganzir is the gate of death in the Simon Necronomicon, the name probably derived from a Persian city.

The "mantra" pronounced during "Shrine of Life", VERAMOCOR, is from the Ultima RPG and stands for truth/love/courage (three principles; the acronym is made from the first three letters of each of these words in Latin; which are rather similar to the same words in French).

The title of the original trilogy (demo) was "Death Gate Cycle" rather than "Mystical Gate". It had to be changed because "The Death Gate Cycle" was the name of a series of fantasy novels published between 1990 and 1994. Not sure whether it is a coincidence, but though there is no "death gate" in the Simon Necronomicon, there is a "gate of death" (the gate of Ganzir). The adjective "mystical" is found in several places in the Simon Necronomicon. As for Damians, I think they are from another RPG.

21 minutes of masterpiece. - 96%

Tyrand_Ixadorian, March 3rd, 2008

Here we have an EP from the golden era of Kataklysm. Back when Kataklysm was a hurricane in musical form destroying everything in its path. This little 21 minute EP features some intense music, even more intense than sorcery at some parts(if that is even possible). This album is pretty much The Death Gate Cycle Of Reincarnation with a bonus track, and its one hell of a bonus track.

Sylvain Houde does the vocals on this album, and they do not disappoint. Check out the track The Orb of Uncreation. The scream at about 30 seconds in sound like a dinosaur. You could seriously convince me they had a tyrannosaurus rex in the fucking studio. His range is simply awesome. By the end of this EP Sylvain has spit out every different death grunt, growl and blood curdling scream possible.

Great riffs can make a great album, and this release has a wide variety of riffs ranging from bone crushing brutality to thrashy faster riffs to epic melodies. The bass in this album is quite prevalent like many other kataklysm releases, and plays a big role in the sound of the entirety of the album. This album also has many smart tempo changes that help accent the quality of the riffs.

The drumming on this album is also exceptional, Kataklysm isn’t called the northern hyperblast for no reason. Max Duhamel does a great for of complementing the rest of the music without totally dominating it.

What Kataklysm gives hear is great performances, diverse song writing and brings it together in a powerful and marvelous way. Its very impressive to see that most of this album was recorded in 1992, making it among the most intense and brutal of its time. I recommend picking up their first full-length Sorcery which comes with this EP as bonus. it’s a great way to get 2 masterpieces in one.

It Has Begun... - 98%

Metaphysical_Anomaly, November 5th, 2006

In the beginning times (1992), Kataklysm were looked upon as a powerful yet unstable group of deathgrinder’s from Montréal. Their front man was a very eccentric, soft spoken, and fiercely mysticism oriented man by the name of Sylvain Houde. Surrounding him were the other core members, talented guitarist and production wizard Jean-François Dagenais, the fiery and charismatic bassist, and at that time backup vocalist, Maurizio lacono, and a short lived drummer by the name of Ariel Saied. The band had just received tremendous response from it’s independently released demo “The Death Gate Cycle of Reincarnation” and had thus been offered a record deal by Nuclear Blast Records. This is where the homogenous EP “The Mystical Gate of Reincarnation” was constructed.

The album itself was a brilliantly sculptured masterpiece by it's arcane maniac and, alas, now long-since defunct creator Sylvain Houde. Musically this album entrances the listener in the midst of a universe of disgruntled howls, bass-heavy overlays, unyielding tempo changes, brutally grinding guitar patterns, and technically precise and passionate drum work. The songwriting that went into this 21 minute EP is enough for any number of full-length thrash metal epics or technical death metal classics.

The first song "Frozen in Time (Chapter I -The Will of Suicide-)" is a perfect theme for the power that this album holds. The song contains everything previously mentioned in mass-quantity, and the diversity and creativity of this one song could not be expressed by mere text. The best I can do is tell you to imagine yourself traversing a newly formed world, chaotic, yet with every inauspicious hindrance, there lies countless Arcane solutions. The last and bonus track "The Orb of Uncreation" is a significant alteration from the previous 3 morosely grinding tracks as it uplifts itself into an up-tempo, almost thrash metal oriented song with a powerful vocal display by Houde and an equally talented display on guitar by Jean-François. Kataklysm will not entertain us with another song of this likeness until the epic masterpiece "Temple of Knowledge", for the next album "Sorcery" is much more based around the first 3 songs of this EP.

For those who are a fan of metal that will escort your spirit through an endless meadow of grinding, sludgy riffs, a haunting vocal display, AND in the same album get you on your feet thrashing about and headbanging in a mad frenzy, brother, this album is for you. Believe me, it is a rarity to find death metal that is this well thought out and executed as brilliantly as a classic piece of literature, not just in today’s ever-growing sludge pile of diluted death metal (recent Kataklysm included), but even back in the earlier days of death metal. Owning this album isn’t just owning a rare piece of metal history, it is owning a gateway to an astral dimension of brilliant mysticism and unending rumination.