Kataklysm - Heaven's Venom review



Reviewer:
5.7

149 users:
7.42
Band: Kataklysm
Album: Heaven's Venom
Release date: August 2010


01. Soulless God
02. Determined (Vows Of Vengeance)
03. Faith Made Of Shrapnel
04. Push The Venom
05. Hail The Renegade
06. As The Walls Collapse
07. Numb And Intoxicated
08. At The Edge Of The World
09. Suicide River
10. Blind Savior


Death metal
Canada
Nuclear Blast

Line-up on the CD:
Maurizio Iacono - vocals
J-F Dagenais - guitars
Stephane Barbe - bass
Max Duhamel - drums


Commercial death metal is - in the eyes of this reviewer - a dead sound. It is far too safe and lacks the integral extremity that makes for something in the genre's style worth listening to in the first place. Kataklysm, one of the more notable Canadian death metal connoisseurs, have taken their Northern Hyperblast trademark sound and ventured into generic territory. So much so you can judge this accurately just by the cover art: yet another appearance by the infamous gargoyle. It will probably sound a lot like the other gargoyle-graced albums.

And it does. Heaven's Venom, essentially Prevail diluted and stripped of its guts, contains bass-laden primal death metal riffing (chug chug chug ad nauseam) with some really nice melodies interspersed throughout the album. The songs generally flow together evenly, and the drumming keeps a fast pace - though noticeably monotonous - along with Iacono's typical hoarse growls. While each piece more or less works on its own, the album as a whole lacks cohesion. Those nice melodies are better suited for a power metal album, and solos are few and far between - not to mention completely forgettable. The flow is basically a result of each song blending together before eventually fading out and concluding what could have been a much better album. It comes across as a piece of plastic rather than something meant to entice you into repeated listens.

Despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, especially given the lack of overall innovation. Perhaps it should be expected after releasing "poor man's" versions of the same release for an entire decade, which could be overlooked if some experimentation took place. But it doesn't. If the band members thought to make a desperate grab for a female vocalist or a new instrument or something, this album would at least fall between the lines of "good" and "very good". However, it continues treading the same path of its predecessors, and rarely takes time to stop and smell the roses.

At the end of the day these guys can do just about whatever they want in regards to their sound and their releases. They have a large fan following (most of whom won't be disappointed with this album) and a big label to back them up. This is merely a release to please the fans of the current style, nothing more.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 7


 



Written on 12.03.2011 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.

Guest review by
Svneatr
Rating:
8.1
Kataklysm has been on the metal scene for a long time. Long enough to lose musical focus. Happily this is not the case as they have come back with one hell of a record. Heaven's Venom is the god forsaken love child of In The Arms Of Devastation and Serenity Of Fire. It's melodic and crushing to say the least.

Read more ››
published 02.01.2011 | Comments (3)


Comments

Comments: 63   Visited by: 431 users
12.03.2011 - 04:29
wormdrink414
"Despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, especially given the lack of overall innovation."

Couldn't agree more. I was in some music shop in Portland the other day, and my buddy asked if he should get this or the new Dawn of Ashes album (which I gave a 5.5). I told him to get the new Dawn of Ashes album. This is definitely better than the Ex Deo album, though. God I hate that album.
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12.03.2011 - 06:02
Opethian
Seriously? IMO this was a lot stronger then the bands last 2 record albums. It's all opinions
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12.03.2011 - 06:48
RavenKing
"It comes across as a piece of plastic rather than something meant to entice you into repeated listens"

Isn't it the norm for today's Death Metal? A genre totally trapped in strict boundaries, unable to evolve, where nearly all bands are interchangeable.

I admit I've never really been a Death Metal fan, though there was a time I enjoyed early Death Metal and I enjoy Thrash/Death quite a bit. But I quickly moved towards new horizons when Brutal Death started to appear and DM became no more than a matter of being brutal for brutality's sake and pounding for pounding. But even then, the worst was still to come because it at least retained a raw sound.
What really put the nail in Death Metal's coffin is when it became so triggered and started sounding like tricked-in-studio plastic shit.

Imo, DM has no future (in terms of creativity), in the sense that it will never get better than it is now and will only repeat itself over and over, ad vitam eternam and ad nauseam.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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12.03.2011 - 06:52
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Opethian on 12.03.2011 at 06:02

Seriously? IMO this was a lot stronger then the bands last 2 record albums. It's all opinions

I think you're considered part of a large minority if that's your opinion.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2011 - 07:01
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by RavenKing on 12.03.2011 at 06:48

Isn't it the norm for today's Death Metal? A genre totally trapped in strict boundaries, unable to evolve, where nearly all bands are interchangeable.

Imo, DM has no future, in the sense that it will never get better than it is now and will only repeat itself over and over, ad vitam eternam and ad nauseam.

Hm. While I understand your reasons behind those statements, part of me still disagrees. While death metal itself as a parent genre does not necessarily have more to offer, it being paired with other parent genres (black, doom, progressive, thrash) and its child genres (brutal, melodic, etc.) gives it a fighting chance to keep up with the likes of more envelope-pushing bands like Portal, Hieronymus Bosch, Mitochondrion, Ulcerate, and Symbyosis.

Kataklysm altogether fails as a captivating band these days - as do many "regular" death metal outfits; I'll agree with you to a degree. But there are traditional death metal bands like Immolation, Dead Congregation, The Chasm, and Vader who all work with the genre's stronger aspects rather than watering themselves down like Dagenais and co.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2011 - 11:21
BudDa
"Commercial death metal is - in the eyes of this reviewer - a dead sound"...
Hahahaha..
After reading your review and when its put that way, then i do agree with you. But Troy, consider this too. Commercial death metal is - also catchy, which is not such a bad thing
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Freeze! Step away from the hubris.
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12.03.2011 - 12:42
Windrider
Raureif
What I do not understand is that you first complain that the music has become too commercial and melodies are even Power Metal like, but in the end you yearn for something like female vocals?? If that was not commercial and even less Death Metal like, what else?
The usual uncommercial Death Metal I know deals only with guitars, bass, drums and deeeep grunts... No Opera voices or Folk / Synth instruments as you maybe want them... Somehow a contradiction if I got you right?
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12.03.2011 - 15:41
silenius
Written by BudDa on 12.03.2011 at 11:21

"Commercial death metal is - in the eyes of this reviewer - a dead sound"...
Hahahaha..
After reading your review and when its put that way, then i do agree with you. But Troy, consider this too. Commercial death metal is - also catchy, which is not such a bad thing


Catchy is worse than dead when it comes to extreme metal...
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12.03.2011 - 15:43
silenius
Written by Windrider on 12.03.2011 at 12:42

What I do not understand is that you first complain that the music has become too commercial and melodies are even Power Metal like, but in the end you yearn for something like female vocals?? If that was not commercial and even less Death Metal like, what else?
The usual uncommercial Death Metal I know deals only with guitars, bass, drums and deeeep grunts... No Opera voices or Folk / Synth instruments as you maybe want them... Somehow a contradiction if I got you right?


Female vocals can be more extreme than for example using human spines as drumsticks and vomiting blood on youre grandpa, just listen to the band Battle of mice, most amazing female vocals ever recorded
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12.03.2011 - 16:49
RavenKing
Written by silenius on 12.03.2011 at 15:41

Catchy is worse than dead when it comes to extreme metal...


I have to strongly disagree here. Imo, most Black Metal bands I'm listening to are very catchy in their own way.
Sure, it's not catchy in the Powermetal kind of way (cheesy, radio-friendly, easily accessible, pussified, commercial, etc) but for me it is more catchy (though in a raw and dark way) than Powermetal, which I find quite boring.

But I'm one of those who find Black Metal overall catchier and more epic than Powermetal. And I'm talking of Black Metal, not Death Metal. I imagine that catchiness can be considered more as a flaw than a quality in Death Metal. Personally, I don't see any catchiness whatsoever in Death Metal.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
12.03.2011 - 17:49
Windrider
Raureif
Written by silenius on 12.03.2011 at 15:43

Written by Windrider on 12.03.2011 at 12:42

What I do not understand is that you first complain that the music has become too commercial and melodies are even Power Metal like, but in the end you yearn for something like female vocals?? If that was not commercial and even less Death Metal like, what else?
The usual uncommercial Death Metal I know deals only with guitars, bass, drums and deeeep grunts... No Opera voices or Folk / Synth instruments as you maybe want them... Somehow a contradiction if I got you right?


Female vocals can be more extreme than for example using human spines as drumsticks and vomiting blood on youre grandpa, just listen to the band Battle of mice, most amazing female vocals ever recorded


I got your point, I also know extreme bands with female voices, but within the review it sounded like something which you can find in Nightwish, Eluveitie or the guest shit on the new Dimmu album!
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12.03.2011 - 17:58
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by BudDa on 12.03.2011 at 11:21

"Commercial death metal is - in the eyes of this reviewer - a dead sound"...
Hahahaha..
After reading your review and when its put that way, then i do agree with you. But Troy, consider this too. Commercial death metal is - also catchy, which is not such a bad thing

Of course a catchy album isn't automatically a bad one - hell, some of my favorite death metal albums of all time are extremely catchy. Benighted's "Icon", Entombed's "Clandestine", Vital Remains' "Dechristianize", Bolt Thrower's "Those Once Loyal", etc.

Not to say I don't immediately dislike catchy or ... non-catchy death metal. It's just the specific sound on this album is way too "clean" for its own good.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2011 - 18:00
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Windrider on 12.03.2011 at 12:42

What I do not understand is that you first complain that the music has become too commercial and melodies are even Power Metal like, but in the end you yearn for something like female vocals?? If that was not commercial and even less Death Metal like, what else?
The usual uncommercial Death Metal I know deals only with guitars, bass, drums and deeeep grunts... No Opera voices or Folk / Synth instruments as you maybe want them... Somehow a contradiction if I got you right?

Being that, in the first place, it is so commercial, I would have at least understood bringing in other elements that are seen by many extreme metal fans as being "commercial". Although, in this case, the female vocals or something else would have at least added something different to the album. It wasn't about the commercialism at that point, it was about creating a difference within the album because the whole thing just sounded like one long (boring) song. That kind of thing is meant for Sunn O))) or Khanate, not a death metal band.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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12.03.2011 - 20:32
Opethian
Written by RavenKing on 12.03.2011 at 16:49

Written by silenius on 12.03.2011 at 15:41

Catchy is worse than dead when it comes to extreme metal...


I have to strongly disagree here. Imo, most Black Metal bands I'm listening to are very catchy in their own way.
Sure, it's not catchy in the Powermetal kind of way (cheesy, radio-friendly, easily accessible, pussified, commercial, etc) but for me it is more catchy (though in a raw and dark way) than Powermetal, which I find quite boring.

But I'm one of those who find Black Metal overall catchier and more epic than Powermetal. And I'm talking of Black Metal, not Death Metal. I imagine that catchiness can be considered more as a flaw than a quality in Death Metal. Personally, I don't see any catchiness whatsoever in Death Metal.


WIN!
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13.03.2011 - 02:21
silenius
Written by RavenKing on 12.03.2011 at 16:49

Written by silenius on 12.03.2011 at 15:41

Catchy is worse than dead when it comes to extreme metal...


I have to strongly disagree here. Imo, most Black Metal bands I'm listening to are very catchy in their own way.
Sure, it's not catchy in the Powermetal kind of way (cheesy, radio-friendly, easily accessible, pussified, commercial, etc) but for me it is more catchy (though in a raw and dark way) than Powermetal, which I find quite boring.

But I'm one of those who find Black Metal overall catchier and more epic than Powermetal. And I'm talking of Black Metal, not Death Metal. I imagine that catchiness can be considered more as a flaw than a quality in Death Metal. Personally, I don't see any catchiness whatsoever in Death Metal.


if you find black metal catchy, i salute you and have the outmost respect for you, if i find a black metal band that is catchy, i call it pop
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13.03.2011 - 02:38
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by silenius on 13.03.2011 at 02:21

if you find black metal catchy, i salute you and have the outmost respect for you, if i find a black metal band that is catchy, i call it pop

Ouch! It's on now!

I might be putting words in his mouth, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I honestly think early Darkthrone and similar raw/primitive black metal bands are incredibly catchy. "In the Shadow of the Horns" is one of the most catchy black metal songs I've ever heard.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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13.03.2011 - 02:48
silenius
Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.03.2011 at 02:38

Written by silenius on 13.03.2011 at 02:21

if you find black metal catchy, i salute you and have the outmost respect for you, if i find a black metal band that is catchy, i call it pop

Ouch! It's on now!

I might be putting words in his mouth, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I honestly think early Darkthrone and similar raw/primitive black metal bands are incredibly catchy. "In the Shadow of the Horns" is one of the most catchy black metal songs I've ever heard.


catchy is not the word to decribe extreme metal at ALL; if you ask me, the word catchy just doesnt have anything to do with the genre. call it intriguing, mesmerizing or memorable, but catchy is not a word compatible with the music.
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13.03.2011 - 03:07
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by silenius on 13.03.2011 at 02:48

catchy is not the word to decribe extreme metal at ALL; if you ask me, the word catchy just doesnt have anything to do with the genre. call it intriguing, mesmerizing or memorable, but catchy is not a word compatible with the music.

When I think catchy, I think something that has a "hook", something about the music that catches your attention and pulls you in. Different genres do it differently, but I wouldn't exclude extreme metal from the art of being catchy.

There are exceptions to both sides, non-metal, accessible metal, and extreme metal alike.

Just because, as a whole, an album may not be "catchy" to people who normally listen to pop or opera or whatever else, doesn't mean it isn't catchy to the people who regularly listen to extreme genres. I have elitist qualities when it comes to a lot of metal, but I don't think I can get on board with "catchy =/= extreme".
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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13.03.2011 - 03:25
floc168
Great review. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for this band as Temple of Knowledge was my introduction to extreme metal when I was in highschool. But the band has become a bit stagnant; it feels like they've released the same album about 10 times now.
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13.03.2011 - 03:28
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by floc168 on 13.03.2011 at 03:25

Great review. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for this band as Temple of Knowledge was my introduction to extreme metal when I was in highschool. But the band has become a bit stagnant; it feels like they've released the same album about 10 times now.

I admittedly have a soft spot for them as well. They're Canadian, they introduced me to one of my favorite genres, and they have released some pretty awesome material in the past. This isn't awesome though. This is just dull.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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13.03.2011 - 03:34
.Nemesis.
Written by RavenKing on 12.03.2011 at 06:48

"It comes across as a piece of plastic rather than something meant to entice you into repeated listens"

Isn't it the norm for today's Death Metal? A genre totally trapped in strict boundaries, unable to evolve, where nearly all bands are interchangeable.

I admit I've never really been a Death Metal fan, though there was a time I enjoyed early Death Metal and I enjoy Thrash/Death quite a bit. But I quickly moved towards new horizons when Brutal Death started to appear and DM became no more than a matter of being brutal for brutality's sake and pounding for pounding. But even then, the worst was still to come because it at least retained a raw sound.
What really put the nail in Death Metal's coffin is when it became so triggered and started sounding like tricked-in-studio plastic shit.

Imo, DM has no future (in terms of creativity), in the sense that it will never get better than it is now and will only repeat itself over and over, ad vitam eternam and ad nauseam.


Really? Maybe you should listen to Melechesh.
----
You try to awaken me, the flesh dripping with blood
My body is there, but my soul a perilous void
Aethereal existence coming off in ambient waves
I am nothing. I AM N1H1L.
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13.03.2011 - 03:48
MetalManic
Interesting. Metal Underground staff voted this the best metal album of 2010.
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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13.03.2011 - 03:51
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by .Nemesis. on 13.03.2011 at 03:34

Really? Maybe you should listen to Melechesh.

Melechesh aren't death metal.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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13.03.2011 - 03:53
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by MetalManic on 13.03.2011 at 03:48

Interesting. Metal Underground staff voted this the best metal album of 2010.

Do you have a link? Because I don't believe you.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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13.03.2011 - 05:21
.Nemesis.
I know they aren't death metal. but they're close.
----
You try to awaken me, the flesh dripping with blood
My body is there, but my soul a perilous void
Aethereal existence coming off in ambient waves
I am nothing. I AM N1H1L.
Loading...
13.03.2011 - 06:10
RavenKing
Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.03.2011 at 03:07

Written by silenius on 13.03.2011 at 02:48

catchy is not the word to decribe extreme metal at ALL; if you ask me, the word catchy just doesnt have anything to do with the genre. call it intriguing, mesmerizing or memorable, but catchy is not a word compatible with the music.

When I think catchy, I think something that has a "hook", something about the music that catches your attention and pulls you in. Different genres do it differently, but I wouldn't exclude extreme metal from the art of being catchy.

There are exceptions to both sides, non-metal, accessible metal, and extreme metal alike.

Just because, as a whole, an album may not be "catchy" to people who normally listen to pop or opera or whatever else, doesn't mean it isn't catchy to the people who regularly listen to extreme genres. I have elitist qualities when it comes to a lot of metal, but I don't think I can get on board with "catchy =/= extreme".


You understand what I meant quite well.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
13.03.2011 - 06:15
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by RavenKing on 13.03.2011 at 06:10

You understand what I meant quite well.

----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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13.03.2011 - 06:23
RavenKing
Written by silenius on 13.03.2011 at 02:48

Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.03.2011 at 02:38

Written by silenius on 13.03.2011 at 02:21

if you find black metal catchy, i salute you and have the outmost respect for you, if i find a black metal band that is catchy, i call it pop

Ouch! It's on now!

I might be putting words in his mouth, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I honestly think early Darkthrone and similar raw/primitive black metal bands are incredibly catchy. "In the Shadow of the Horns" is one of the most catchy black metal songs I've ever heard.


catchy is not the word to decribe extreme metal at ALL; if you ask me, the word catchy just doesnt have anything to do with the genre. call it intriguing, mesmerizing or memorable, but catchy is not a word compatible with the music.


Problem here is some people (including you) have a narrow vision when it comes to catchiness. You probably think of catchiness in the way people usually refer to as 'catchy', instead of the way Troy Gallant and me try to describe.
I never intended catchiness as the typical cheesy stuff Powermetal fans refer to as catchy. There's a difference between catchy and pop-ish. I use the word catchy for music that has a hook, some entertaining effect.
I thought I was clear about it: I consider BM catchy in its own way. I don't consider bands like Hammerfall, Sabaton or Alestorm catchy. Only cheesy and boring as hell. And, of course, pop-ish.

I don't think catchy is something 'cast in stone' and the same for everyone. I think it can vary from one person to another and is taste-related. For me, lots of BM bands are catchy, while Powermetal is not catchy but only pop-ish.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
13.03.2011 - 08:14
Syk
myspace/bonerama
Written by RavenKing on 13.03.2011 at 06:23
I don't think catchy is something 'cast in stone' and the same for everyone. I think it can vary from one person to another and is taste-related. For me, lots of BM bands are catchy, while Powermetal is not catchy but only pop-ish.
(With reference to Hammerfall, Alestorm & your last sentence) For many these words will be synonymous... would throwing the word "formulaic" into the mix help clarify things? I guess I see modern Kata as formulaic, not catchy... but definitely leaning on the poppy side of DM. Maybe I'm just sick of hearing the similar sound for all these years...
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death ‡ thrash ‡ death/doom/prog ‡ Hail Zoldon!

he's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays
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13.03.2011 - 22:56
MétalNoir
Fils du Lys
Kat isn't brutal death. They've been playing melodeath for a couple years now, so quit comparing them with "true DM". As a melodeath band, they're catchy yet heavy, and that's what you're looking for when listening to this subgenre. Not the most original album of the year, but it features some of the band's best riffs ever, imo (ex. Suicide River).
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Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....
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