Nuclear Blast
Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hair Metal, Grindcore, Death Metal

Album Review

Quebec is easily the most European-like part of North America. Stroll the streets of Montreal or Quebec City, and you feel like you could be in a European city. So bearing that in mind, it makes sense that French Canadian death metal band Kataklysm picked up some European metal influences along the way -- and one can hear those European influences on Heaven's Venom, which is a death metal album first and foremost but sometimes incorporates elements of Scandinavian black metal (including blastbeats and black metal-style rasp vocals -- lead singer Maurizio Iacono usually favors a Cookie Monster growl but can also handle a black metal rasp when he's in the mood). There is no shortage of thrashiness and high-speed ferocity on Heaven's Venom; moshers will not be disappointed by "Faith Made of Shrapnel," "At the Edge of the World" or the opener "A Soulless God" (which, in true Kataklysm fashion, starts out with a movie soundbite). But this 2010 release, for all its bombast, isn't an exercise in all thrashiness all the time. There are tempo changes and melodic moments as well; melodic death metal of the Swedish variety is a definite influence on tracks like "Blind Savior," "Suicide River," and "As the Wall Collapses." So even though Heaven's Venom is a brutal pile driver of an album, it isn't without nuance -- and Kataklysm achieve some variety but always sound quite focused. Heaven's Venom is unlikely to convert those who have resisted Kataklysm in the past, but this 46-minute CD demonstrates that after 18 years in the mosh pit, they could still bring the noise with exciting results.
Alex Henderson, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. A Soulless God
  2. Determined (Vows of Vengeance)
  3. Faith Made of Shrapnel
  4. Push the Venom
  5. Hail the Renegade
  6. As the Walls Collapse
  7. Numb & Intoxicated
  8. At the Edge of the World
  9. Suicide River
  10. Blind Savior