KATAKLYSM Dive Deep Into Meditations
June 1, 2018, a year ago
Montreal based metallers Katakalysm have been melting faces with their patented blend of extreme since 1991.
27 years later, the band are primed to release their brutal 13th studio album, Meditations on June 1st through their longtime home of Nuclear Blast Records, the follow-up to their 2015 masterpiece Of Ghosts and Gods.
“We’re very stoked and excited about it,” shared founding member and guitarist Jean-François ‘JF’ Dagenais. “I was really happy about the way the songs turned out and the production, everything down to the cover artwork. Everything came out very good. As an artist you’re never sure how people are going to react to it. Are they going to think it’s as good as the previous album? A lot of times we’ve seen it, and although we may have thought we did a good job people will tell us the last album was better. This one we’re getting some really good positive feedback across the board. It’s exciting to hear.”
Katakalysm have always been a difficult band to peg down. Not quite extreme enough for some, not melodic enough for others. They occupy a unique space in the metal world, and one that has seen the band strive and persevere while other flash in the pan fads have faltered. A track from the album, “Outsider”, illustrates that fact.
“We kind of wrote that song ‘Outsider’ speaking a bit about ourselves,” says Dagenais. “We feel like we never really belonged anywhere, but at the same time we’re always doing our thing and it’s our sound. We always felt quite unique as a band. We were never that band who was all out super brutal, but we had some elements of it. We were never all out melodic death metal. You can never put us in a specific genre. We always did our thing, which was a combination of many many things. We always felt we were the outsider band going through everything. At the same time I think we survived a lot of those trends that came and went throughout our career, because we were never apart of any of those trends. We’re still here today doing our thing.”
Meditations finds the band firing on all cylinders, operating at a peak level of intensity rare for a group two and a half decades into their careers.
“We love what we do and we’re doing our thing,” Dagenais says of the new album. “It sounds like a Katakalysm record and if you listen to Of Ghosts and Gods, the transition to this record makes sense. But at the same time we’ve gone back to some of our earlier elements we had in the past. It’s a good mix of old and modern Katakalysm. I think there’s so much more textures and colours going on in this record. These songs are very different, but they all match very well together. It’s like a perfect painting and collage of different things and it all makes sense together.”
As for the band’s diehard legion of fans, well, they’re the fuel behind the Katakalysm machine.
“They’re the reason we’re still here doing this,” Dagenais says. “There’s been so much love and support from everybody and it made it possible for us to have a career. We really enjoy what we do still and we have that fire burning. I think the fanbase feeds that energy for us, and it makes me still want to go out there. It’s such a powerful bond that we share. That’s kind of the drug that fuels everything.”