I consider myself to be a big Kataklysm fan, and despite not being completely blown away by the band’s previous album, 2010’s Heaven’s Venom, I was still very anxiously awaiting this new release. A few seconds into the first play-through and my mind wandered, without anything drawing my focus again until the digipak-only bonus track, a cover of “The American Way,” which seems just as timely now as when Sacred Reich wrote it nearly a quarter century ago, although stylistically entirely out of place here. Another dozen spins and the regular-edition closer, “Elevate,” worked its way into my brain as well, and now after weeks of countless additional tries to cram the rest of this into my hippocampus, it’s kind of happening, despite the occasional imperfect riff (I’m looking at you, “Under Lawless Skies”). The impeccable recording/production helps, I think, and Maurizio Iacono’s growls, shrieks, and roars are as amazing as ever. Waiting for the End to Come combines all the necessary high-quality ingredients the right way, and is a tremendous accomplishment, but as with the aforementioned Heaven’s Venom, something’s absent… an element that I can’t describe. From an unknown Death Metal band, this album would be close to a ten, but Kataklysm have set the bar, and my expectations, so high that perhaps it’s impossible for even the godz of Northern Hyperblast to reach them anymore. I suppose that’s not fair. Reality seldom is.
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