Rating:
5.7
Kataklysm - Heaven's Venom
13 August 2010


01. Soulless God
02. Determined (Vows Of Vengeance)
03. Faith Made Of Shrapnel
04. Push The Venom
05. Hail The Renegade
06. As The Walls Collapse
07. Numb And Intoxicated
08. At The Edge Of The World
09. Suicide River
10. Blind Savior


Death metal
Canada
Nuclear Blast

Line-up on the CD:
Maurizio Iacono - vocals
J-F Dagenais - guitars
Stephane Barbe - bass
Max Duhamel - drums


Commercial death metal is - in the eyes of this reviewer - a dead sound. It is far too safe and lacks the integral extremity that makes for something in the genre's style worth listening to in the first place. Kataklysm, one of the more notable Canadian death metal connoisseurs, have taken their Northern Hyperblast trademark sound and ventured into generic territory. So much so you can judge this accurately just by the cover art: yet another appearance by the infamous gargoyle. It will probably sound a lot like the other gargoyle-graced albums.

And it does. Heaven's Venom, essentially Prevail diluted and stripped of its guts, contains bass-laden primal death metal riffing (chug chug chug ad nauseam) with some really nice melodies interspersed throughout the album. The songs generally flow together evenly, and the drumming keeps a fast pace - though noticeably monotonous - along with Iacono's typical hoarse growls. While each piece more or less works on its own, the album as a whole lacks cohesion. Those nice melodies are better suited for a power metal album, and solos are few and far between - not to mention completely forgettable. The flow is basically a result of each song blending together before eventually fading out and concluding what could have been a much better album. It comes across as a piece of plastic rather than something meant to entice you into repeated listens.

Despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, especially given the lack of overall innovation. Perhaps it should be expected after releasing "poor man's" versions of the same release for an entire decade, which could be overlooked if some experimentation took place. But it doesn't. If the band members thought to make a desperate grab for a female vocalist or a new instrument or something, this album would at least fall between the lines of "good" and "very good". However, it continues treading the same path of its predecessors, and rarely takes time to stop and smell the roses.

At the end of the day these guys can do just about whatever they want in regards to their sound and their releases. They have a large fan following (most of whom won't be disappointed with this album) and a big label to back them up. This is merely a release to please the fans of the current style, nothing more.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 7


Band profile: Kataklysm
Album: Heaven's Venom


 



Written on 12.03.2011 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››

Guest review by
Loathera

Rating:
8.1
Kataklysm has been on the metal scene for a long time. Long enough to lose musical focus. Happily this is not the case as they have come back with one hell of a record. Heaven's Venom is the god forsaken love child of In The Arms Of Devastation and Serenity Of Fire. It's melodic and crushing to say the least.

Read more ››
published 02.01.2011 | Comments (3)



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Hellhound - 15.04.2011 at 07:43  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.04.2011 at 03:38

Written by Hellhound on 15.04.2011 at 02:29

fact based reviews

You've piqued my curiosity. Please cite some examples of "fact-based" music reviews because I can't fathom how that would ever work.


Ah, a smartass. Great. Unfortunately I am not about to scour the internet in an attempt to find a "fact-based" music review. If you gave a second thought about what I said and pulled your head out of your ass to think you may have realized that I was objecting to the reviewers use of his own opinion as fact. "Despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, especially given the lack of overall innovation," is not fact it is opinion. In conclusion using fact and opinion to review something is only effective if the reviewer actually gives examples from the music and doesn't just expect his opinion to be taken as fact.
Hellhound - 15.04.2011 at 07:47  
Written by BitterCOld on 15.04.2011 at 03:38

Written by Hellhound on 15.04.2011 at 02:29

My apologies. I clearly did misunderstand. I was thinking these were fact based reviews rather than editorials. I didn't mean to get so preachy. My apologies.


i have a nice big long article on how strictly "objective" reviews are fucking useless that needs clean-up before i post it. this is yet another push to get me motivated to completing it.

limiting a review to what is "fact" destroys the entire purpose of the review. a good review should mix both some degree of "facts" coupled with great bits of opinion... sharing the experience the reviewer had listening to the album to others who might be interested in checking it out.

stripping it down to just "album contains X songs and lasts YY minutes. The guitars use distortion. The vocalist uses a clean voice. blah blah blah (QUANTIFIABLE FACTS DEVOID OF OPINION) words words words" renders it useless.

I really need to do an objective review. any time someone complains about opinions in reviews, just direct them to it.


You really are an idiot. Id hold off on finishing that review as posting such tripe will only direct people's attention to your obvious ignorance. Now to your reply: I am in no way implying that the reviewer should just state facts from the album. Rather the reviewer should try and use examples from the music to provide evidence for his claims. He can still share the experience of listening to the album, but stating opinion without any evidence is lazy child's play. Now, piss off.
BitterCOld - 15.04.2011 at 09:01  
Written by Hellhound on 15.04.2011 at 07:47

You really are an idiot. Id hold off on finishing that review as posting such tripe will only direct people's attention to your obvious ignorance. Now to your reply: I am in no way implying that the reviewer should just state facts from the album. Rather the reviewer should try and use examples from the music to provide evidence for his claims. He can still share the experience of listening to the album, but stating opinion without any evidence is lazy child's play. Now, piss off.


ooh. the journalism student has attitude.

i just still find it hilarious you bitch about "fact based reviews" and "editorials". reviews have always been closer to the later... but maybe that's in the 201 course.

when dealing with music, it's open to vast degrees of interpretation with precious little by way of fact. clunking up his review with multiple citations of "riff a from the x:xx to y:za time of track 5 is a direct rip off of earlier release Q, song O's primary riff..." most bands recycle ideas. i think for the purpose of a 250-500 word review, simply stating an act is growing stale is good enough. it doesn't matter what 'fact' he cites. people who agree will agree. people who disagree, even in presence of 'fact' will still disagree.

you're the one who dropped "journalistic integrity" in your first post. the blend of objectivity and subjectivity in reviews was brought up by my post that you are referring to. it was previously untouched be you. so break out the thesaurus and toss personal attacks all you'd like. it's just tap dancing to me.

and still lmfao at 'journalistic integrity'.
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.04.2011 at 13:05  
Written by Hellhound on 15.04.2011 at 07:43

Ah, a smartass. Great. Unfortunately I am not about to scour the internet in an attempt to find a "fact-based" music review. If you gave a second thought about what I said and pulled your head out of your ass to think you may have realized that I was objecting to the reviewers use of his own opinion as fact. "Despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, especially given the lack of overall innovation," is not fact it is opinion. In conclusion using fact and opinion to review something is only effective if the reviewer actually gives examples from the music and doesn't just expect his opinion to be taken as fact.

For a journalism student you clearly don't read many reviews do you. Generally speaking (and by generally I of course mean always) reviewers and the readers tend to have an understanding that a review is not something based on fact or the reviews would end up reading: ""In my opinion, despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, in my opinion, especially given the lack of overall innovation. In my opinion of course"

There's nothing in this review that is any different to the format used in every other review on this site, and probably every other review ever written so why you suddenly became so confused is a bit baffling, but I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact it didn't correspond to your opinion of the record. No of course not, these questions of journalistic integrity quite often pop up even when the complainer is in total agreement with the opinion of the reviewer... Reviews are as much about entertaining as they are informing so this factual analysis you speak of would no doubt render most reviews boring forays into technical analysis, and seeing as there's a word limit to the reviews on this site it wouldn't work out very well I don't think.

Maybe they'll cover music reviews in class at some point eh?





I really think this site should offer a free cushion with every review to care for the butthurt people that pass by.
Hellhound - 17.04.2011 at 04:43  
Written by BitterCOld on 15.04.2011 at 09:01

Written by Hellhound on 15.04.2011 at 07:47

You really are an idiot. Id hold off on finishing that review as posting such tripe will only direct people's attention to your obvious ignorance. Now to your reply: I am in no way implying that the reviewer should just state facts from the album. Rather the reviewer should try and use examples from the music to provide evidence for his claims. He can still share the experience of listening to the album, but stating opinion without any evidence is lazy child's play. Now, piss off.


ooh. the journalism student has attitude.

i just still find it hilarious you bitch about "fact based reviews" and "editorials". reviews have always been closer to the later... but maybe that's in the 201 course.

when dealing with music, it's open to vast degrees of interpretation with precious little by way of fact. clunking up his review with multiple citations of "riff a from the x:xx to y:za time of track 5 is a direct rip off of earlier release Q, song O's primary riff..." most bands recycle ideas. i think for the purpose of a 250-500 word review, simply stating an act is growing stale is good enough. it doesn't matter what 'fact' he cites. people who agree will agree. people who disagree, even in presence of 'fact' will still disagree.

you're the one who dropped "journalistic integrity" in your first post. the blend of objectivity and subjectivity in reviews was brought up by my post that you are referring to. it was previously untouched be you. so break out the thesaurus and toss personal attacks all you'd like. it's just tap dancing to me.

and still lmfao at 'journalistic integrity'.


Yes I do. Go fuck yourself.

Jesus Christ, its like banging my head against a fucking wall. All I am getting is a headache. When you can write a proper sentence we can talk, until then I refuse to dance in circles with you. I believe completely opinion based are bullshit, if you want to bitch about my statement that fact and examples should be included to give the reader some kind of basis than that is your choice. Journalistic integrity is about keeping your bias to yourself. The bias will only taint your experience and viewers aren't getting what they wanted when they read something written by someone who has nothing but contempt for what they are reviewing.
Hellhound - 17.04.2011 at 04:53  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.04.2011 at 13:05

Written by Hellhound on 15.04.2011 at 07:43

Ah, a smartass. Great. Unfortunately I am not about to scour the internet in an attempt to find a "fact-based" music review. If you gave a second thought about what I said and pulled your head out of your ass to think you may have realized that I was objecting to the reviewers use of his own opinion as fact. "Despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, especially given the lack of overall innovation," is not fact it is opinion. In conclusion using fact and opinion to review something is only effective if the reviewer actually gives examples from the music and doesn't just expect his opinion to be taken as fact.

For a journalism student you clearly don't read many reviews do you. Generally speaking (and by generally I of course mean always) reviewers and the readers tend to have an understanding that a review is not something based on fact or the reviews would end up reading: ""In my opinion, despite their foray into contemporary waters, Kataklysm's style is outdated and dull. The predictable song structures make for a rather boring listen, in my opinion, especially given the lack of overall innovation. In my opinion of course"

There's nothing in this review that is any different to the format used in every other review on this site, and probably every other review ever written so why you suddenly became so confused is a bit baffling, but I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact it didn't correspond to your opinion of the record. No of course not, these questions of journalistic integrity quite often pop up even when the complainer is in total agreement with the opinion of the reviewer... Reviews are as much about entertaining as they are informing so this factual analysis you speak of would no doubt render most reviews boring forays into technical analysis, and seeing as there's a word limit to the reviews on this site it wouldn't work out very well I don't think.

Maybe they'll cover music reviews in class at some point eh?





I really think this site should offer a free cushion with every review to care for the butthurt people that pass by.


Reading reviews as you define them and actual journalism are nothing similar dumbass. Real journalism doesn't let things like bias get between it and the truth. However, if you want to stick your head in the metaphorical sand then you are free to do so. Do me a favor though, open your mouth and let some of the sand in there as I am getting tired of listening to you bitch. After seeing an example of your writing I am surprised you actually managed to write complete sentences. If you think writing like an idiot helps you prove your point you are sorely mistaken. It did give me a chuckle though and for that I thank you. I haven't seen writing that atrocious since high school. Thanks for the memories.

Excuse me, I thought review meant the writer would let me know more about the music and less about his obvious bias towards said music. I do happen to agree with the reviewer. He is a talented, entertaining writer with obvious talent. What I didn't appreciate was the obvious bias shown without so much as an attempt to explain why he felt the music was "dull" or "outdated." For that matter he didn't explain exactly what made it "dull" either. That is what I took issue with. Stating an opinion without fact to back it up is just self-important drivel.

Maybe they will have that introductory writing class for idiots some time. Then you can attend and learn how to make actually hold an argument without looking ignorant.

I was perfectly happy havin a discussion with the reviewer. You were the one that started bitching at me.
Troy Killjoy - 17.04.2011 at 05:25  
Written by Hellhound on 17.04.2011 at 04:53

I do happen to agree with the reviewer. He is a talented, entertaining writer with obvious talent. What I didn't appreciate was the obvious bias shown without so much as an attempt to explain why he felt the music was "dull" or "outdated." For that matter he didn't explain exactly what made it "dull" either. That is what I took issue with. Stating an opinion without fact to back it up is just self-important drivel.

First of all, thanks for the compliments.

Second of all, my overall review should be enough of a "fact" for you to understand why I think this album is boring (if that doesn't sound like too much of a contradiction). I mentioned the songs flowing together only because they all sound the same, the melodic riffs (despite one or two enjoyable moments) are almost power metal-esque (hence, generic contemporary death metal), the album sounds like a stripped-down version of everything they've been doing for the past decade.

Of course, a lot of that is more or less opinionated. Sometimes what I think sounds the same, others find variety. When I hear power metal-type riffing, others hear amazing death metal musicianship, when I say the album's a stripped down version of its predecessors, others think it's the most innovative album the band has produced.

I just want to point out that, even with "facts", there will always be those who argue against a reviewer. The only indisputable information I can provide is track length (unless a digital copy is altered), band name, album title, instruments used during the recording process (if they're listed, otherwise everything could be programmed, which would also be included in the liner notes hopefully), etc.

There isn't much in terms of facts that I can provide in a review that reviewers will unanimously agree with aside from information that doesn't evoke a response in the first place. Nobody is going to read this and say "this wasn't released by Kataklysm", because it was, that's a fact. Some people might read this review and say "this isn't death metal", and they're right, because that's an opinion.

I'm not even sure I really answered your question. Hopefully it's enough for you to understand that I don't try to force-feed my audience with opinions I try to pass off as fact.
Hellhound - 18.04.2011 at 01:52  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.04.2011 at 05:25

Written by Hellhound on 17.04.2011 at 04:53

I do happen to agree with the reviewer. He is a talented, entertaining writer with obvious talent. What I didn't appreciate was the obvious bias shown without so much as an attempt to explain why he felt the music was "dull" or "outdated." For that matter he didn't explain exactly what made it "dull" either. That is what I took issue with. Stating an opinion without fact to back it up is just self-important drivel.

First of all, thanks for the compliments.

Second of all, my overall review should be enough of a "fact" for you to understand why I think this album is boring (if that doesn't sound like too much of a contradiction). I mentioned the songs flowing together only because they all sound the same, the melodic riffs (despite one or two enjoyable moments) are almost power metal-esque (hence, generic contemporary death metal), the album sounds like a stripped-down version of everything they've been doing for the past decade.

Of course, a lot of that is more or less opinionated. Sometimes what I think sounds the same, others find variety. When I hear power metal-type riffing, others hear amazing death metal musicianship, when I say the album's a stripped down version of its predecessors, others think it's the most innovative album the band has produced.

I just want to point out that, even with "facts", there will always be those who argue against a reviewer. The only indisputable information I can provide is track length (unless a digital copy is altered), band name, album title, instruments used during the recording process (if they're listed, otherwise everything could be programmed, which would also be included in the liner notes hopefully), etc.

There isn't much in terms of facts that I can provide in a review that reviewers will unanimously agree with aside from information that doesn't evoke a response in the first place. Nobody is going to read this and say "this wasn't released by Kataklysm", because it was, that's a fact. Some people might read this review and say "this isn't death metal", and they're right, because that's an opinion.

I'm not even sure I really answered your question. Hopefully it's enough for you to understand that I don't try to force-feed my audience with opinions I try to pass off as fact.


Well I don't compliment people for nothing.

This whole situation has gotten out of hand. I was ready to call it a day with what I said before. I do agree with you though. Heaven's Venom was the by far the most generic Kataklysm album.

Well there is always gonna be a difference of opinion and I think I found that I wasn't allowed to post my own opinion without raising a shit storm. I respect your opinion as a writer and I think I have said this before but the review was quite well written despite the issue I took with that one sentence.

There is no "standard" in music so there is really nothing to measure against. My whole tirade up to this point has been more or less about backing up information with something beside your word. However, when you are reviewing something as open to interpretation as music, it seems that a reviewers word would have to be taken as fact. Im just thinking out loud here.

I never tried to suggest you were force-feeding something to your audience and it seems like most of them (two obvious candidates not included of course) would be able to get a rough understanding of how the album sounds. To wrap this debacle up once and for all I just want to close saying that I apologize if I ruffled any feathers on this forum. I was merely trying to present another point of view. I think that covers everything.
Troy Killjoy - 18.04.2011 at 01:54  
Written by Hellhound on 18.04.2011 at 01:52

To wrap this debacle up once and for all I just want to close saying that I apologize if I ruffled any feathers on this forum. I was merely trying to present another point of view. I think that covers everything.

I think it's safe to say nobody went home injured so we can call this a matter of agreeing to disagree, nothing more. I'm not one to dissuade people from voicing their opinions, especially when it comes to posting in a music-related thread.
Dangerboner - 18.04.2011 at 02:42  
Blaaah blaaah blaaah blaaah
Troy Killjoy - 18.04.2011 at 02:50  
Written by Dangerboner on 18.04.2011 at 02:42

Blaaah blaaah blaaah blaaah

You're too late, boner tech.
Dangerboner - 18.04.2011 at 02:57  
Sorry I guess I was too busy making all of the boner repairs at work >:[

(BTW good review - new Kataklsym sucks)
Hellhound - 19.04.2011 at 05:17  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 18.04.2011 at 01:54

Written by Hellhound on 18.04.2011 at 01:52

To wrap this debacle up once and for all I just want to close saying that I apologize if I ruffled any feathers on this forum. I was merely trying to present another point of view. I think that covers everything.

I think it's safe to say nobody went home injured so we can call this a matter of agreeing to disagree, nothing more. I'm not one to dissuade people from voicing their opinions, especially when it comes to posting in a music-related thread.


Quite so. Well as a music forum it would seem a little contrary to the purpose of the website to discourage member disagreements. Well, all that remains to finish this business up is to eliminate the witnesses. Im gonna have a busy weekend.

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