Music: Kataklysm

Kataklysm is a Canadian Death Metal band formed in 1991. They are very successful by their genre's standards, though not as successful as bands such as Cannibal Corpse. Kataklysm started off with a very chaotic brutal death metal sound on their first two albums, Sorcery and Temple of Knowledge. The former is considered by many to be a classic in the death metal genre, with fans citing then-vocalist Sylvain Houde's diverse vocals, the album's eclectic sound, chaotic riffing, and drumming as definitive strong points. The band was hailed as one of metal's most brutal bands at the time, with a devoted underground following and worldwide critical acclaim from metalheads. However, things began to change when Sylvain left the band.

Then-bassist Maurizio Iacono took over vocal duties, and the band's music went in a more melodic, polished, and simple direction. With their 1998 album Victims of This Fallen World, they developed their own sound, which is characterized by catchy riffs and violent, incredibly fast double bass drumming passages. This lead to their sound being labeled as 'Northern Hyperblast'. They also brought in influence from Melodic Death Metal a few albums in, though the aren't really a part of the genre. While their sound brought in new fans, those who enjoyed their more technical earlier sound did not fully embrace the style. However, Kataklysm still has a strong following in the metal world, as well as a solid 12 albums to their credit.

Aside from Kataklysm, all of the members also perform in the Roman mythology-themed side project band Ex Deo, which, while still rooted in the death metal of Kataklysm, also incorporates symphonic elements, although not quite to the extent of bands like Septicflesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse.

Guest Collaborators:
  • Rob Tremblay (Necronomicon) - guest vocals on "Manifestation" (The Prophecy)
  • Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy) - guest vocals on "For All Our Sins" (Serenity in Fire)
  • Morgan Lander (Kittie) - guest vocals on "It Turns to Rust" (In the Arms of Devastation)
  • Tim Roth (Into Eternity) - guitar on "The Road to Devastation" (In the Arms of Devastation)
  • Dave Linsk (Overkill) - guitar on "Blood in Heaven" (Prevail)
  • Pat O'Brien (Cannibal Corpse) - guitar on "The Last Effort" (Prevail)

Ex Deo Collaborators:
  • Nergal (Behemoth) - guest vocals on "Storm the Gates of Alesia" (Romulus)
  • Karl Sanders (Nile) - guitar solo on "The Final War (Battle of Actium)" (Romulus)
  • Obsidian C. (Keep of Kalessin) - additional guitar on "Cruor Nostri Abbas" (Romulus)
  • Stefan Fiori (Graveworm) - guest vocals on "Per Oculos Aquila" (Caligvla)
  • Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania) - female clean vocals on "Divide et Impura" (Caligvla)
  • Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish, Devil You Know) - guitar on "Pollice Verso" (Caligvla)
  • Spiros Antoniou (Septic Flesh) - guest vocals on "Pollice Verso" (Caligvla)

Studio Discography:
  • Sorcery (1995)
  • Temple of Knowledge (1996)
  • Victims of This Fallen World (1998)
  • The Prophecy (Stigmata of the Immaculate) (2000)
  • Epic: The Poetry of War (2001)
  • Shadows & Dust (2002)
  • Serenity in Fire (2004)
  • In the Arms of Devastation (2006)
  • Prevail (2008)
  • Heaven's Venom (2010)
  • Waiting for the End to Come (2013)
  • Of Ghosts & Gods (2015)

Kataklysm and its members fit these tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Max Duhamel. He checked himself into rehab because of it.
  • Careful with That Axe: Sylvain Houde, and how. Also, on the later material, Maurizio's signature alteration between deep growls and black metal-esque shrieks can be a little surprising to new listeners.
  • Brutal Death Metal: Most of their material prior to In the Arms of Devastation, especially the two albums with Sylvain Houde.
  • Gorn: Surprisingly averted considering how they sound, with the exception of "The Night They Returned", which is blatantly about murder.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Iacono era. Not by much, though.
  • Long Runner Line Up: Only one original member is gone; Sylvain. However, drummer Max Duhamel has left on and off, though he has been with the band forever. As of 2014, he is out again, and it's unclear if he will ever return.
  • Melodic Death Metal: Have shades of this, especially in their post-Serenity in Fire material, but do not qualify as such. Heaven's Venom is probably the closest they've come to straight melodeath, along with some songs on Waiting for the End to Come.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Started at 11, and gradually moved down to 10 as they progressed as a band. Some of their post-Serenity material can go down to a hard 9.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Maurizio used to play bass before Sylvain left. Until he became the singer, nobody really knew who he was.
  • The Schizophrenia Conspiracy: Sylvain left the band due to developing schizophrenia. According to his interview on the Iron Will DVD, it doesn't look like he's recovered from it fully.
  • Signature Style: Melodeath-like passages, brutally fast drumming, a near-perfect balance between speed and groove, and the distinct stylings of their vocalists. Both Maurizio and Sylvain have instantly recognizable voices. They also have a much more polished sound compared to most straight death metal bands.
  • Special Guest: Oli Beaudoin joined as a temporary session member while Duhamel was in rehab; as of 2014, he has been inducted in as a full-time member after Duhamel decided to step down completely.
  • X Meets Y: Deeds of Flesh meets Amon Amarth. Their earliest material also adds Cryptopsy to the mix.