Kataklysm - Waiting for the End to Come - (7.5/10)
Published on October 13, 2013
Genre:Death / Melodic Death
By now, Kataklysm should be a household name for anyone interested in death metal, and as such there shouldn’t be anything more reassuring than a band that stays tried and true over its long career. The only problem that could arise from this is if a band doesn’t challenge itself as musicians and songwriters. Writing convincing melodic death metal is indeed only half of the equation but unfortunately it’s this half that Kataklysm has struggled with for quite some time now, and it’s what has created considerably more valleys than peaks in the band’s recent discography, with 2010’s Heaven’s Venom being a dismally low point. 2013 is Kataklysm’s chance to right its wrongs and, sure enough, as promised by Maurizio himself, they are indeed “coming for your jugular.”
With that said, this is very much the proper follow-up to 2008’s Prevail, with the only difference being a severe pummeling in the opening four tracks. Kataklysm chose “Kill the Elite” as the album’s flagship track for good reason, and while it is a particularly fierce number demonstrating frenetic riffs that remind me of Quo Vadis, the preceding three tracks are arguably much more ferocious and are solid 10s if I were to rank them individually. The two tracks “If I was God – I’d Burn It All” and “Like Animals” are easily my favorites on the album; both are punchy and dense with an aggressive groove that reminds me of Napalm Death, and it’s great to hear Kataklysm firing on all cylinders.
After this fiery discourse is over, however, the album evens out into a mid-tempo melodic death affair, a juxtaposition that is actually an odd choice that makes the album seem strangely polarized in its presentation. The slower paced songs as a result come off as much tamer by comparison, and after track eight the album begins to wane into tedium. “The Promise” and “Empire of Dirt,” luckily come to rescue and kick up a whole lot of dirt with much-needed aggressive guitar work and faster pacing that close the album on a positive note.
Waiting for the End to Come leaves me satisfied, yet curiously wanting more. While it is consistently good and demonstrates a return to a higher level of quality overall, Kataklysm has also shown us some extraordinary power that has whetted my appetite for more primal energy and intensity. At the same time, this has left the remaining music on the album at a disadvantage, and at the end of the day I strongly prefer what opened and closed the album over what was in the middle. An interesting dilemma, one could say, but ultimately a positive one since nothing about this album necessarily disappoints. Through and through, it’s a solid effort and it’s great to see Kataklysm back in good form.