CD review KATAKLYSM ‘Unconquered’

Canada-based Metal force Katakylsm release their new longplayer ‘Unconquered’ as we speak (read). It’s their 14th longplayer in the bands long history, a story that started nearly 30 years ago in Montreal, Quebec.

‘Unconquered’, a well-chosen title for the world we are living in in right now, has an approach of brutality beating filigree. Kataklysm’s newest has its nuances but first of all it’s a blastbeat and high speed that characterize the sound of Canadian Metal veterans. These trademarks are reflected in ‘The Killshot’, the lead-off song on ‘Unconquered’. The racing track is more than a wake-up call after having pressed the ‘Start’-button.

With ‘Cut Me Down’ the grooving aspect of Kataklysm pushes to forefront, a trademark being the base for ‘The Way Back Home’. The latter has also a more melodic approach, in the context of Kataklysm’s music. Quickly jumping back to ‘Cut Me Down’ means also to mention that Kataklysm could win over Wolfheart’s Tuomas Saukkonen for a guest vocal appearance which adds to the thrill to the smashing tune.

‘Focused to Destroy You’ satisfies with a lot of density before a raging tempo takes over again with ‘Defiant’. However, it feels like the band being ahead of themselves here. As a counterpart ‘Icarus Falling’ brings back a moderate pace but also reflects with a ‘off the shelf’ approach . The final thrill is missing and there is hope that the closer ‘When It’s Over’ turns the page. It’s a sinister ending of the album that shows two sides of a coin. There is the extremely fast top half of the album that reflects a lot of Kataklysm we know. The bottom half of the tracklist though is in general a bit slower, more groove focussed and still aggressive.

‘Unconquered’ is an album that feels a bit ‘unfinished’ to a certain extend. Not in the sense of sound and production. All is pretty well done in this field. It’s more that ‘Unconquered’ leaves you with a question mark of where things are going in the future. Kataklysm’s 14th longplayer is by no means a bad delivery. It’s just not a real highlight either the guys added to the books.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. The Killshot
  2. Cut Me Down
  3. Underneth the Scars
  4. Focused to Destroy You
  5. The Way Back Home
  6. Stitches
  7. Defiant
  8. Icarus Falling
  9. When It’s Over

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: September 25th, 2020

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