KATAKLYSM (Can): “The Mystical Gate of Reincarnation” MCd 1993 Nuclear Blast

KATAKLYSM (Can):

In 1993 I received a package from Nuclear Blast containing a few things I bought through their mailorder: it also contained also a slipcase promo sampler of all of their upcoming releases. Apart from some frighteningly horrendous tracks from band such as Afflicted (at their power metal days), Gorefest tracks taken from “Erase”, Pyogenesis tracks from “Sweet X-Rated Nothings” and a couple of more atrocious listenings, there was one track that left me in shock and it was this band Kataklysm which I never heard before then. It was “The Orb of Uncreation”. Listening to this track again today still gives me shivers. I still cannot think of another singer as uncontrolled, as insane, as Sylvian Houde was on this Ep. I got the Cd containing the demo tape and this extra song in a blink of an eye. The cover artwork looks like taken from a D&D module, and the lyrics are about some fantasy magic that deals with dimension travels and cosmic energies; original to some extent but it’s hardly honest to say “never heard before” (even Hawkwind didn’t stray too far from these topics). But what was obsessively good in these twenty minutes was surely the fucking music herein contained. It doesn’t follow ANY schemes. The vocals are totally independent of the music base, barking and growling at full speed, disgorging words with a frequency deign of the best John Kennedy with a Canadian raising problem. It’s like hearing Terrance and Phillip singing at the Ed Sullivan show, with deathvomit vocals. Definitely crazy. And the whole music reeks insanity as well, in a really unpredictable way. I was blown at the time and well, I still am when I hear this album, the drums hyperblast, stop and twitch, and the guitar riffs contort aimlessly in a mass of swirling riffs and disconnected tempos. You got terrific fast blastbeats one second, a hyperfast drum solo, arpeggios and a shovinm crunchy riff right after. While I love these vocals, which become a bit higher and clearer with the extra track at the end, I admit the whole band here deserves a handshake for the incredible chemistry it displays, this is order from chaos in its most clear cut form, a single serpent of sound made of several different tiles, but with a single flowing pattern. Too sad this is one of the best album that Nuclear Blast ever released, becouse it was also one of the last ones. After 1994, very few items have been memorable from the label. The production is a bit dirty and bass heavy, but I like it this way. Killer, killer Ep. If some bands have been able to somewhat match or imitate Cryptopsy so far, none seems to have produces anything similar to this infernal choir of cataclysmic rage. Amazing. It took me one year to get the 7″ Ep on Boundless and finally understand that the band logo was the round thing glowing on the cover. Ahah.

Vote: 9.8

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