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Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Death metal
Years active 1991–present
Labels Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Dechrist, Ex Deo
Website www.facebook.com/kataklysm
Members Maurizio Iacono
Jean-Francois Dagenais
Stephane Barbe
Oli Beaudoin
Past members Sylvain Houde
Martin Maurais
Nick Miller
Ariel Saied Martinez
Max Duhamel

Kataklysm is a French Canadian death metal band. They call their musical style "northern hyperblast" after an advertisement in M.E.A.T. magazine describing another band, Fear Factory, as "hyperblast". The term refers to the extremely fast blast beats that former Kataklysm's drummer, Max Duhamel, fused into the music.


Kataklysm was formed in 1991. At the beginning of their career they were mostly known for being one of the fastest, most chaotic metal bands. However, their music changed after Sylvain Houde left the band, and bassist/backing vocalist Maurizio Iacono took over Houde's vocal duties, and full-time bassist Stephane Barbe was recruited.

In 1998, the band released Victims of this Fallen World, an album which was noted as being a change in musical style from previous albums. The following album The Prophecy (Stigmata of the Immaculate), however, saw the band return to its previous style, though less chaotic and with a touch of thrash metal. Following The Prophecy (Stigmata of the Immaculate), Kataklysm's current vocalist, Maurizio Iacono, had vocal lessons for death metal after complaining of losing his voice during or after concerts.

In 2001, Kataklysm released Epic: The Poetry of War, which showed a more melodic approach to death metal whilst not stepping within the boundaries of melodic death metal. The album never sparked too many sales or was really paid attention to, though it still got relatively positive reviews from those who did pay attention.

In the following year, Kataklysm released Shadows & Dust. The album is seen by Kataklysm members to be one of their most successful albums due to the positive attention it received and the sales it gathered. The album combines melodic elements and the "brutality" of death metal within the same album.

Two years after Shadows & Dust is released, Serenity in Fire is released. Max Duhamel, Kataklysm's drummer, is not present during this album, and is temporarily replaced by Martin Maurais. Martin Maurais still maintains the hyperblast aspect of Kataklysm in Serenity in Fire whilst adding his own touch to it. Serenity in Fire is one of Kataklysm's more drum-intensive albums, where Martin Maurais's skill in "hyperblasting" and the double kick pedal is shown.

Drummer Max Duhamel is said to have been forced out of the band because of injuries. Eventually, Duhamel recovered from his injuries and participated on Kataklysm's eighth album released in 2006, In the Arms of Devastation.

Kataklysm's line-up has remained relatively stable compared to many other bands within the metal genre. The band only has one missing original member, Sylvain Houde. Drummers make out most of the band's "former members" list.

The band released their latest album Waiting for the End to Come on October 29th, 2013.


Kataklysm is well known for their incorporation of movie-quote samples in their music, as well for incorporating some melodic elements into their music while still not being melodic death metal, courtesy of guitarist Jean-Francois Dagenais.[1] The band is ranked 7th on AOL Radio's list of the 10 best Death Metal bands.[2]

Kataklysm is also known for a frequently used drum pattern known as "Northern Hyperblast". The pattern often contains fast sixteenth beats on the snare drum, which are combined with a slow beat on the bass drum. The following example shows an excerpt from The Road to Devastation:

„Northern Hyperblast“, common drum pattern of Kataklysm. Here, the snare drum plays throughout sixteenth beats, while the bass drum plays slow Fourths.

About this sound MIDI example 


Current members[edit]

  • Maurizio Iacono – vocals (1998–present), bass (1991–1998)
  • Jean-Francois Dagenais – guitars (1991–present)
  • Stephane Barbe – bass (1998–present)
  • Oli Beaudoin – drums (2013–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Stephane Coté – guitar (1991–1992)
  • Ariel Saied Martinez – drums (1991–1992)
  • Sylvain Houde – vocals (1991–1997)
  • Max Duhamel – drums (1994–1996, 1999–2002, 2006–2013)
  • Nick Miller – drums (1996–1998)
  • Jean-François Richard – drums (2002–2003)
  • Martin Maurais – drums (2003–2004)


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Demos / EPs / other[edit]

Music videos[edit]

  • "The Awakener" (1996), directed by Maurice Deverault[3]
  • "In Shadows & Dust" (2002), directed by SVBell[3]
  • "As I Slither" (2004), directed by Joe Lynch[3]
  • "Crippled & Broken" (2006), directed by Maurice Swinkels[3]
  • "To Reign Again" (2006), directed by Maurice Swinkels[3]
  • "Taking The World By Storm" (2008), directed by David Brodsky
  • "Blood In Heaven" (2009), directed by Maxime Hebert
  • "Push The Venom" (2010), directed by Ivan Colic
  • "Edge of The World" (2011), directed by Tommy Jones
  • "Iron Will" (2012), directed by Tommy Jones
  • "Elevate" (2013),
  • "The American Way" (2014), directed by Tommy Jones


  1. ^ Interview with Maurizio Iacono 09.March.2004
  2. ^ "10 Best Thrash Metal Bands". AOL Radio Blog. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Live in Deutschland: The Devastation Begins (DVD booklet). Kataklysm. Nuclear Blast. 2007. p. 3. 

External links[edit]