Kataklysm Serenity In Fire

The drumming: it’s what keeps me coming back to this album time and time again. Quebec’s Kataklysm aren’t throwing a lot of surprises at the listener with Serenity In Fire, their seventh album; it’s very much like the band’s last three releases. But what is new is Martin Maurais, unknown drummer extraordinaire. This guy is doing things on this album that almost seem impossible, and although the drum sound is better this time around, it still does sound like a lot of computer tip-tapping. But no doubt this guy is one of the best extreme metal drummers around today. As for the tunes, Serenity In Fire finds the guys doing what they do best, perhaps better than ever: catchy, groove-filled metal that switches up from ludicrously fast to a mid-tempo pace. No one working in the death metal realm can write a hook like these guys, and these ten cuts are further evidence of that. Man, you need to check it out for the drumming alone, but all told this is probably the band’s best album except for Temple Of Knowledge, which is like comparing apples and oranges anyway. Whereas Temple showed the band young and crazy, this shows them pretty mature, and balancing the crazy with their knack for writing memorable songs. I still think the high-pitch vocals sound funny, though. (Nuclear Blast)