Kataklysm - Temple of Knowledge

Production: Clear and digitally crisp and precise but often to the deteriment of natural bass and midtones, which fade away under the signal peaks created by clean collisions.

Review: After emerging onto the scene with muddied and confused by often brilliantly violent compositions Kataklysm threw themselves into a newer version of this style with their previous album, but fail to top it with the successor despite throwing in all of the right pieces. On this new album more of the abrupt tempo changes and riff inversions occur with clarity of precision and intent as melody works its way slyly into passages between structural cornerstones. The resulting mixture provides an advanced version of their previous works and a more concentrated nexus of complexity, but this only serves to highlight the overall lack of compositional integration and the consequent narrative nature of these complex riff and tempo progressions.

Blasting beats will often collide theatrically with passages of standard "technical death metal" double-hit rock drumming and other offset rhythmic detours, often including surgical fills and brutally clipped, rippingly fast punctuation. Harmonically most of this material remains at the power chord level but the careful accentuation of melody and selective note tremelo enhancement builds greater tension in these riffs than might be imagined but the numerous variations that then occur have much less direction than previous versions the music from Kataklysm, being much more generic in their search to elude meaning not elucidate it.


1. The Unholy Signature
2. Beckoning of the Xul
3. Point of Evanescence
4. Fathers from the Suns
5. Enhanced by the Lore
6. In Parallel Horizons
7. The Awakener
8. Maelstrom 2010
9. Exode of Evils

Length: 42:47

Kataklysm - Temple of Knowledge: Death Metal 1996 Kataklysm

Copyright © 1996 Nuclear Blast

Lead guitars are sparse and non-intrusive for the most part because of the intense rhythm behind this music that makes the granularity of guitar solos dwarfed by the vocal rhythm and drumbeat framework that make so much of it work despite compositional discontiguity. Tragically the core of most of this rhythm work hides in the cheesy, overstated and demonstrative phrasing of older stylers of metal bands readdressed in the more active percussion of newer death metal styles. Even the savage power that holds most of the force behind each phrase of combined rhythms, the vocals, have a processed sound and an overstated delivery that saps much of their credibility.

Despite these failings "Temple of Knowledge" is stronger than the average current death metal release for sheer energy and enough musical absorption to keep tension high during the blast and relapse cycles of extreme expenditure.