I, for one, was disappointed after the solid Epic (The Poetry of War), the band’s best full length up to that point (coming eight long years after their debut EP in 1993), at the sterile attempt that was 2004’s Serenity in Fire. I had all but written them off as a lost cause, that is until now. Twelve years is a long time to wait for a band’s magnum opus, but better late than never. In the Arms of Devastation is a flawless album and easily the best thing Canada’s Kataklysm have ever put out. Produced by the band’s guitarist Jean Dagenais and mixed by guru Tue Madsen, the record’s sound is magnificent. What the “Kings of Northern Hyperblast” have lost in speed and insanity over the years, they have made up for with big riffs, catchy choruses, and memorable song structuring. There is not one filler moment that sneaks anywhere into these nine colossal cuts, and the melodies are rich. While the heaviness sweeps, swirls and slowly grinds, Maurizio Iacono’s bestial but intelligible roars collide with his demented witch-cackling screams in a schizophrenic battle. He even trades off with Kittie’s Morgan Lander on “It Turns to Rust,” one of the album’s standout tracks. Then again, this LP is nothing but back-to-back standout tracks. This is simply everything a Death Metal album should be. It’s about god damn time they got it completely right!
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