Every time a new Kataklysm album gets released, I get all giddy like it’s Christmas day. I already know that the album is going to have killer riffs, impressive drumming and great vocals. Every album since “Serenity in Fire” seems to have stayed in one place. While it’s not a bad thing at all, they just needed a little change. Branching out and making Ex Deo’s second album “I, Caligvla,” was one of the best things the band has done. They learned a lot about melody and solid pacing. It seems they took the skills they used to make Ex Deo’s “I, Caligvla,” combined them with new drummer, Oli Beaudoin, and created something truly special. “Waiting for the End to Come” shows the band in their most grounded and solid form in years.
The album kicks off with “Fire” and “If I Was God…I’d Burn It All” which showcases Oli Beaudoin’s drumming and the textures it brings. It’s amazing how one instrument can make such a difference. It makes the band sound more full and solid than ever before. Also, Jean-Francois Dagenais’ guitar work is absolutely bad ass on “Fire.” After all these years, he is still one of the premiere riff masters. “Like Animals” is a little more groove oriented than the other tracks on the album. “Kill the Elite” is melodic as hell before it goes into a crushing chorus that Kataklysm is known for. “Under Lawless Skies” and “Dead and Buried” both have super melodic choruses that are a new sound for Kataklysm. The guitar work in these songs breathes new life into their music and makes them sound more epic. “The Darkest Days of Slumber” keeps the melodic style going but it gets a little heavier than previous tracks. “Real Blood, Real Scars” picks the pace up with one of the most fucking awesome riffs Jean-Francois Dagenais has ever written. This is by far my personal favorite on the album. The vocals, drums, guitar and bass just fit together perfectly. The bridge of the song has an odd breakdown-esque riff, but it fits. On “The Promise,” Oli Beaudoin’s drumming is very impressive but the overall track isn’t one of the strongest on the album. Coming after “Real Blood, Real Scars,” this song falls a little flat. “Empire of Dirt” is a little more interesting than the previous track but not by much. The closing track, “Elevate” is a weird song to end the album with and it’s a song that comes out of left field, but somehow it works. Kataklysm isn’t known for their slow, melodic tracks. It’s an oddball for sure, but it fits perfectly at the tail end of the album. It also shows that trying different things is on their agenda and hopefully they continue this trend.
“Waiting for the End to Come” is the most solid Kataklysm album since “Serenity in Fire.” It tries new sounds and while some of them fall flat, most of them work out in their favor. My raving about the new drummer isn’t meant as an insult to Max Duhamel. He’s one of the best drummers out there, it’s just that Oli Beaudoin’s style is a breath of fresh air. He’s a little more technical and has a full sound. I’ve heard other people talking about how this album is really generic. I can honestly say that those people are full of shit. “Waiting for the End to Come” is Kataklysm at their finest. Nobody has kicked this much ass consistently for over twenty years.
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