The Prophecy (stigma Of The Immaculate)

Kataklysm

Nuclear Blast Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/31/2000

Here we go again... another day, another dive into the world of grindcore, where deja vu is the order of the day.

But wait - this time, the subject in question isn't one of a thousand European death metal acts whose CDs are cluttering my office. No, this time, the band in question comes from Canada - Kataklysm, and their fourth long-player The Prophecy (Stigma Of The Immaculate). Unfortunately, the end result is simple: same shit, different country.

You would think that this group - vocalist Maurizio Iacono, guitarist Jean-Francois Dagenais, bassist Stephane Barbe and drummer Max Duhamel - would have something new and fresh to add to the field of grindcore. But they stick pretty much to the same formula that so many bands have been hammering into the ground - heavy guitar intro, throbbing verses, breakneck speed choruses.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Granted, Kataklysm does try to throw a little more into the mix than the traditional death and devil mix. "Machiavellian" - at least, what I could decipher - seems to break the stereotype enough to make the song fresher than the bulk of the disc. They also try this on the disc's closer "Renaissannce," though the end result is less pleasant. (Possibly part of the problem is that this track becomes an epic in the world of grindcore, clocking in at eight minutes in length.)

If only there were more moments on The Prophecy (Stigma Of The Immaculate) that took such musical chances. Regrettably, the bulk of this disc falls into the same old cookie-cutter metal that has been causing grindcore to go flat faster than an open soda left in the summer sun. Tracks like "Manifestation," "Laments Of Fear & Despair" and "1999:6661:2000" all just fail to materialize into anything unique or special.

That's kind of a shame, because I had hoped that Kataklysm would have brought something new to the musical table, not being tied down by the influences of dozens of similar bands from the same country. And, to some extent, they do introduce a little something different - but not nearly enough to allow them to break free from the chains of redundancy.

The Prophecy (Stigma Of The Immaculate), of course, will probably be hailed as a master work by fans of the genre - and, make no mistake, I still do like grindcore. But some of us are just getting tired of hearing the same old thing, group after group, album after album. Kataklysm had the opportunity to blaze a new trail in this genre; instead, they merely set foot on it, and leave it mostly unexplored.

Rating: C-

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