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Maurizio Iacono (Vocals)
Jean-Francois Dagenais (Guitar)
Stephane Barbe (Bass)
Oli Beaudoin (Drums)
For over a quarter century the monumental vessel of KATAKLYSM has overwhelmed the world with immense, powerful, death metal. Since their formation in 1991 they have uprooted influence in everything from ancient human history to the basic instincts surrounding mortal emotion. Part of what has kept Kataklysm not just surviving, but thriving for such a long period of time, is their incredible ability to explore the darkest chasms and most intricate paths of fleshly nature through music. With no end in sight, Kataklysm has culminated their most recent inspirations into their upcoming creation entitled: Meditations, to be released June 1st, 2018 via Nuclear Blast Records.
The building of the record began surrounding the recent 25 year milestone as the band found themselves in an era of re-creation. Kataklysm’s sound has always been incredibly diverse and attracted a wide variety of fans. Frontman Maurizio Iacono feels that the time has come to truly immerse the band in those origins of being naturally unique: “We’ve never really belonged to one thing, we were never really a follower of one style of music; we were a hybrid. It confused people a little bit, I think… we were an outsider band regarding that… not part of anything.” This philosophy has naturally lead to the beginning of an Outsider Movement, a “vast majority” of uniqueness amongst the masses of the metal world.
As the band approaches this new era, they remain true to their root sound while developing an even more melodic dynamism. The title, Meditations, mirrors the emotional elements of these robust and vigorous sounds, while the incredible artwork (designed by artist Suzy Iacono) visually reflects the emotional torment and sonic release that the songs on the album portray. With Kataklysm’s classic symbol reflecting the clouds in the sky, a human face is seen struggling from inside the roots of a tree; screaming and struggling to escape. The washy colors set the tone for an intense and effective batch of musical measures. Strong songs like “Guillotine” and “Outsider” are sure to be die-hard fan pleasers with their classic Kataklysm sound and as they “are very intertwined with Kataklysm’s message,” says Iacono.
This album cycle also consisted of a slightly different recipe in terms of the recording process. Guitarist JF Dagenais, who has always been involved in the band’s recording, set out to do the entirety of Meditations with the band’s newest member, drummer Oli Beaudoin, by his side. Dagenais & Beaudoin recorded the album in the depths of the Canadian forest at the studio the band built specifically for JF’s recordings. The production process was also taken in an entirely different direction this time with the hiring of fellow Canadian Jay Ruston who more commonly works with bands like Stone Sour and Anthrax. “It’s a risk when you’re in a very tunnel vision industry,” says Iacono. “We wanted something out there, with a different kind of production [and] we were very impressed with his sound.”
Meditations is a refreshing representation of both the roots and foundations of Kataklysm. It represents the duality of various essences in the realm of truly existing as an Outsider. It is something which will electrify consistent Kataklysm fans, welcome new ones, and reawaken old ones. KATAKLYSM is: Maurizio Iacono (Vocals), JF Dagenais (Guitars), Stephane Barbe (Bass), and Oli Beaudoin (Drums).