Kerrang! (UK) - - Reviews -

FOR FANS OF: Dark­est Hour, The Haunted, Soil­work ■ For a band who once coined the term ‘North­ern Hyper­blast’ as the ti­tle of a live al­bum, death met­allers Kataklysm are more in­ter­ested in slow­ing things down these days. Songs such as Guil­lo­tine and In Lim­bic Res­o­nance might come rac­ing out of the traps, but for the most part the Cana­dian vet­er­ans deal in solid mid-tempo thrash­ing here. Of most in­ter­est are the in­tri­cate gui­tar leads that dec­o­rate many of these tunes, lend­ing Med­i­ta­tions a sense of grace rarely as­so­ci­ated with the old-school death metal swamps from which Kataklysm orig­i­nally emerged. Less suc­cess­ful, how­ever, are the oc­ca­sions when their sound co­a­lesces into some­thing ap­proach­ing met­al­core. It might be dif­fi­cult to ar­gue with the ti­tle of What Doesn’t Break Doesn’t Heal, but its mis­judged mix­ture of numb­skull hard­core and mod­ern metal is eas­ier to fault. On Achilles Heel, how­ever, Kataklysm come up trumps with a more com­mer­cial aes­thetic, even if its melodic thrills will prove as painful to a death metal afi­cionado as a rup­tured ten­don. OLLY THOMAS

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