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Hellfest2018Kataklysm 01.jpg
Kataklysm performing at the 2018 edition of Hellfest in France
Background information
OriginMontreal, Quebec, Canada
GenresMelodic death metal, death metal
Years active1991 (1991)–present
LabelsNuclear Blast
Associated actsEx Deo
Past members
  • Sylvain Houde
  • Martin Maurais
  • Nick Miller
  • Ariel Saied Martinez
  • Max Duhamel

Kataklysm is a Canadian death metal band. They have released thirteen studio albums, one EP and two DVDs as of 2018. Kataklysm won their first Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) for best album of the year in the "heavy metal" category for their 2015 album Of Ghosts & Gods.The band's albums have charted throughout the world, including the Billboard Top 100 in the United States.


Maurizio Iacono, 2015

Kataklysm was formed in Montreal, Quebec in September 1991. At the beginning of their career, they were known for their fast and technical brand of death metal, known as the "Northern Hyperblast"[1]. Nuclear Blast Records soon took notice of the band in 1992 after noticing the band's debut demo The Death Gate Cycle of Reincarnation, which gained significant praise from the underground metal scene. In 1994, Kataklysm signed to a Nuclear Blast and released their first EP The Mystical Gate of Reincarnation, followed by their debut album Sorcery in 1995. This was followed in 1996 by their second full length album Temple of Knowledge, which they accompanied with their first music video for the album's track, "The Awakener". Following the release of this album however, founding member and lead vocalist Sylvain Houde departed from the band. This, as Houde himself confessed, was due to the emotional effects surrounding the end of his romantic relationship[2]. Subsequently, the band's bassist Maurizio Iacono replaced Houde as vocalist, ceding his duties as bassist to Stephane Barbe. The band's musical direction shifted from being primarily spearheaded by Houde to both Iacono and founding guitarist JF Dagenais instead.

In 1998, the band released their third studio album Victims of this Fallen World,( Iaconos first as vocalist) which has been noted as incorporating a more groove-oriented and melodic musical style of death metal. The following album The Prophecy (Stigmata of the Immaculate) released in 2000 consolidated this style, lessening the chaotic nature of their work thus far and incorporating greater influences from thrash metal. The band's 2001 album Epic: The Poetry of War added further melody to the band's approach to death metal and the band continued to gain attention and positive critical reception. The following year, the band released In the following year,Shadows & Dust, which has been viewed by critics as one of the band's most successful releases because of the overwhelmingly positive reception the band received and the increase in sales compared to the band's prior releases, being the first album to chart in countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and featured one of the band's most recognisable tracks: "In Shadows & Dust".

Two years later, the band releasedSerenity in Fire. The album was notable for the absence of drummer Max Duhamel, Kataklysm's drummer, being temporarily replaced by Martin Maurais, due to injury. The album was again positively received and featured two of the band's best known tracks: "As I Slither" and "The Ambassador of Pain". Duhamel eventually recovered and played on the band's eighth studio album, released in 2006, titled In the Arms of Devastation. The album was a considerable success, with sales exceeding 50,000 units and saw the band's highest charting entries thus far. The band's following album, Prevail, continued to display the band's growing popularity, with sales again exceeding the 50,000 mark. The album's single "Taking the World by Storm" also became the band's most highly viewed track on YouTube, with over 3 million views[3].

The band released their 11th studio album Waiting for the End to Come on October 29,2013, followed by their twelfth album Of Ghosts and Gods in July 31, 2015, both to high praise. The band's thirteenth studio album, Meditations, was released in June 2018.[4] The album gained their first album to chart on the Billboard Top 100 charts, positioning at #61, alongside being their highest charting album in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the band's native Canada.


Members of Kataklysm have cited major influences as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Pantera, Sepultura, Exhorder, Testament, Death, At the Gates, Napalm Death, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Kreator, Exodus, Fear Factory, Carcass and Entombed.


Stephane Barbe, 2016

Current members

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

Former members

  • Stephane Coté – guitar (1991–1992)
  • Ariel Saied Martinez – drums (1991–1992)
  • Mark Marino – drums (1992)
  • Sylvain Houde – vocals (1991–1998)
  • Nick Miller – drums (1996–1998)
  • Jean-François Richard – drums (2002–2003)
  • Martin Maurais – drums (2003–2005)
  • Max Duhamel – drums (1993–1995, 1998–2002, 2005–2013)



Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation[citation needed] Award Work or author awarded Result
2005 Canadian Independent Music Awards Favourite Metal Artist/Group Kataklysm Nominated
2006 Canadian Independent Music Awards Favourite Metal Artist/Group Kataklysm Winner
2008 fr:Gala alternatif de la musique indépendante du Québec Album Métal/Hardcore de l’année Prevail Nominated
2011 fr:Gala alternatif de la musique indépendante du Québec Album Métal/Hardcore de l’année Heaven’s Venom Nominated
2013 Canadian Independent Music Awards Metal Band of the Year Kataklysm Winner
2015 Juno Awards Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Waiting for the End to Come Nominated
Canadian Independent Music Awards Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Waiting for the End to Come Nominated
2016 Juno Awards Heavy Metal Album of the Year Of Ghosts and Gods Winner


  1. ^ https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/about/70940.kataklysm.html
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jumf-UjSU9E
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gawms8BM3o
  4. ^ "KATAKLYSM: 'Meditations' Cover Artwork, Track Listing Unveiled". Blabbermouth.net. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.

External links[edit]