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KATAKLYSM - Meditations

Release date June 1/18 (Nuclear Blast)

Between 2000 and 2002 Kataklysm could no wrong. The three albums they issued during that period were all strong and memorable death metal outings (The Prophecy (Stigmata Of the Immaculate), Epic: The Poetry of War and Shadows & Dust). Since then the Canadian band's output has been patchy at best, as they transitioned toward a more melodic death approach.

Unfortunately, Meditation continues the trend. The first four tracks pass by uneventfully, playing out as safe/vanilla takes on the melodic death sub-genre. It isn't until the fifth track ('Born To Kill And Destined To Die') that any sense of urgency is presented, with a solid thumper that sounds like something from Razor's last album, Decibels. The subsequent 'In Limbic Resonance' proves to be the album highlight, a quick paced punisher with some fine lead guitar work. That's it - the rest returning to the uninspired, tired, grooving melodic death of the opening.

The Northern Hyperblast has seemingly been silenced. Sad.

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