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KATAKLYSM Goliath

By Nathan Dufour, Great White North
Thursday, October 12, 2023 @ 9:32 AM


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KATAKLYSM
Goliath

2023, Nuclear Blast




In January of 2022, KATAKLYSM announced what is essentially a hiatus. In September of 2022, they decided they were too old to retire. Hyperblast forward to 2023 and we have a refreshed, renewed, and amazingly cold and calculating KATAKLSYM album. Age is a number.

Goliath is, in a word, huge. Wasting no time whatsoever, lead off track "Dark Wings of Deception" finds the band firing on all cylinders, blasting away at the nonbelievers in one of their finest displays of strength in years. After 30 years of being KATAKLYSM and fine-tuning the machine for that long, it is reasonable to think that someone would phone something in. Goliath proves the opposite to be true.

Checking my own notes, I did have the privilege of reviewing the last KATAKLYSM outing, Unconquered, in 2020 and, checking my own brain, I have been a fan of the band for 25 of their 31 year existence. Revisiting the back catalogue of the band as well as my most recent musings has shown a couple of revelations: 1) I agree with myself and 2) Goliath stands head and shoulders above the recent output of the band. It is an immense work that is at once familiar and alien, sounding very much like KATAKLYSM however, being able to stand on its own outside the established groove (no pun intended) the band has worn for itself in the earth. Somehow, the band has come back and sound hungry - bordering on starvation - and looking to its audience for sustenance.

The riffs of Dagenais are somehow more angular, the hooks and barbs are palpable. Barbe's bass rumbles like a threatening tar pit with indigestion, and Payne's drumming is absolutely master class. Iacono, for his part, is characteristically monstrous but seems, at least to my ears, to be very much in the pocket vocally. The effect is absolutely captivating - Goliath is the purest iteration of KATAKLYSM in its current form - utterly without compromise and unwavering in commitment to its vision.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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