Album Review: Kataklysm - Goliath

Album Review: Kataklysm - Goliath

Kataklysm have been decimating the metal landscape with their devastating assault of ferocious melodic death metal for almost 30 years. They have now unleashed their epic 15th studio album 'Goliath' via Nuclear Blast Records and, staying true to it's name, is a force to be reckoned with.

Vocalist Maurizio Iacono says of the record:

"There's a lot of anger but also a lot of darkness in this record, it reflects the current mood of the world. Goliath is an album that searches deep in to questioning things that are happening on a global scale and inside society itself, are you okay with everything you see?
This record has this mean, aggressive feeling about it. It's also about fighting back, standing up even if it seems at times impossible to do so... a modern day David vs Goliath: fighting back for what is right for yourself and the people you love."

The record opens with a brief spoken word statement "kings may be chosen by God, but they still make the mistakes of men;" a poignant reminder of the hypocrisy of those in power which keeps to the theme of the record. "Dark Wings of Deception" then launches in to a devastating assault full of blistering blast beats, an ominously heavy chug accompanied by a descending riff before Maurizio Iacono's powerful gutteral vocals burst in to life. The track twists and turns as it charges forward with unrelenting ferocity. The title track doesn't hold back as it continues the assault with Iacono's screams of "let's go to war!" An absolutely immense battering of frantic shredding and pummeling drums before descending in to a chugging, mid-tempo stomp guaranteed to get your head-banging in time. However the pace is picked up again with 'Die as a King,' more blistering blast-beats, chant-worthy choruses and groove-fused shredding.

'Bringer of Vengeance' starts with an ominous build with war-like drumming and chugging riffs before it explodes in to action with frantic vocals and guitarwork. The drums are ever thunderous in nature before slowing right down to ominous picking before Iacono screams in to life with the chorus. This track is particularly rousing with a sense of urgency. 'Combustion' maintains a stomping pace with bursts of frantic energy. 'From the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead' may be a long track title but it doesn't waste any time with its blistering attitude. This track is layered with aggressiveness and lightning shredding.

'The Redeemer' glides in to motion with thrashy, ominous vibes and a catchy melodic stomp before it charges forward once more whereas 'Heroes to Villains' is one of those chuggy, chant-worthy moments full of fevered shredding. 'Gravestones & Coffins' certainly stands out from the rest of the record as it relies on heavy, groove-fused melodies, booming basslines and a slower, sludgey pace. It isn't any less aggressive than its preceding tracks but it is certainly a welcome change to the high energy assault experienced thus far. Finally, the concluding track 'The Sacrifice for Truth' begins with a rolling drum beat before it cascades in to a layered, melodic final push with heavy basslines and a soaring solo.

The thing with Kataklysm is, they know exactly what they're doing and they never seem to disappoint. Every offering has been created with a fantastic formula of ferocity and just enough melody to keep the listener interested. Goliath is no different and is an absolute monster of an album both in name and in material.  

Rating: 8/10
Release Date: August 11th 2023
Released By: Nuclear Blast Records
FFO: Hypocrisy, Decapitated, Bloodbath


01 - Dark Wings of Deception
02 - Goliath        
03 - Die as a King
04 - Bringer of Vengeance          
05 - Combustion  
06 - From the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead          
07 - The Redeemer          
08 - Heroes to Villains      
09 - Gravestones & Coffins  
10 - The Sacrifice for Truth

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