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Serenity In Fire

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Album Review

Kataklysm is yet another death metal band that refuses to roll over and croak, the French-Canadian group unleashing its eighth studio album in ten years. And while Serenity in Fire doesn't kick down any doors in the genre, it does knock quite hard — and there's a nebulous, inexplicable something that keeps Kataklysm a notch above the onslaught of tiresome, cookie-cutter death acts churning out assembly-line albums like Krispy Kremes. Maybe it's the band's conviction and lack of pretension, Serenity in Fire exuding a convincing degree of passion that's often nonexistent among more high-concept gore metal and ludicrously technical outfits. The positives: an impressive and effective arsenal of speeds and tempo shifts; upper- and lower-register double-tracked vocals (à la Deicide) utilized for variety; the epic, melodic riffing of "The Night They Returned" and the title track; ten smartly arranged songs, none of them overstaying their welcome, and clocking in at just under 40 minutes total. Negatives: an annoyingly artificial clackity-typewriter double-bass sound; a lack of lyrical creativity (more anti-religious rants: yawn); a silly, clichéd album cover that not only looks like a bootleg, but too closely resembles the art adorning Kataklysm's 2002 platter, Shadows & Dust. Still, despite the feeling that you've heard it all before, Serenity in Fire is a characteristically strong effort from this tireless outfit, which has produced yet another solid, meat-and-potatoes album that seasoned extreme metal aficionados will find difficult to dislike.


Formed: 1991 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

These Canadians started to rock in 1992 with the mission statement "deliver the most punishing music ever created by combining melody and power into one devastating force." Whether they are the most punishing band ever could be debated for hours over multiple bottles of Jim Beam. But one thing is for sure: Kataklysm are an extremely heavy death metal band and have managed to remain interesting throughout their career. Their other amazing feat is that they have managed to maintain the same lineup...
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Serenity In Fire, Kataklysm
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