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Kataklysm Strasbourg 81007 01.jpg
Kataklysm lineup 2014
Background information
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Death metal, Melodic death metal
Years active 1991 (1991)–present
Labels Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Dechrist, Ex Deo
Website kataklysm.ca
Past members
  • Sylvain Houde
  • Martin Maurais
  • Nick Miller
  • Ariel Saied Martinez
  • Max Duhamel

Kataklysm is a 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, fuses into the music.


Maurizio Iacono, 2007

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. 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.

The band released their eleventh studio album Waiting for the End to Come on October 29th, 2013, and their twelfth album Of Ghosts & Gods is set for release on July 31, 2015.


Max Duhamel, 2007

Kataklysm is well known for their incorporation of movie-quote samples in their music, as well for incorporating some melodic elements into their music, 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 


Stephane Barbe, 2007
Current members
  • 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
  • Stephane Coté – guitar (1991–1992)
  • Ariel Saied Martinez – drums (1991–1992)
  • Sylvain Houde – vocals (1991–1997)
  • Nick Miller – drums (1996–1998)
  • Jean-François Richard – drums (2002–2003)
  • Martin Maurais – drums (2003–2005)
  • Max Duhamel – drums (1994–1996, 1999–2002, 2005–2013)



Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Year Album details Peak chart positions

1995 Sorcery
  • Released: February 10, 1995 (1995-02-10)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
1996 Temple of Knowledge
  • Released: June 26, 1996 (1996-06-26)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
1998 Victims of this Fallen World
  • Released: October 5, 1998 (1998-10-05)
  • Label: Hypnotic
2000 The Prophecy (Stigmata of the Immaculate)
  • Released: April 17, 2000 (2000-04-17)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
2001 Epic: The Poetry of War
  • Released: September 3, 2001 (2001-09-03)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
2002 Shadows & Dust
  • Released: September 23, 2002 (2002-09-23)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
2004 Serenity in Fire
  • Released: March 22, 2004 (2004-03-22)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
2006 In the Arms of Devastation
  • Released: February 20, 2006 (2006-02-20)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
2008 Prevail
  • Released: May 23, 2008 (2008-05-23)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
44 38 83 15
2010 Heaven's Venom
  • Released: August 13, 2010 (2010-08-13)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
32 35 53 8
2013 Waiting for the End to Come
  • Released: October 25, 2013 (2013-10-25)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
63 55 62 20
2015 Of Ghosts and Gods
  • Released: July 31, 2015 (2015-07-31)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

List of live albums, with selected chart positions
Year Album details Peak chart positions
1998 Northern Hyperblast Live
  • Released: 1998 (1998)
  • Label: Hypnotic
2007 Live in Deutschland – The Devastation Begins
  • Released: February 20, 2007 (2007-02-20)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
2012 The Iron Will: 20 Years Determined
  • Released: July 3, 2012 (2012-07-03)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart in that territory.


List of EPs
Year Album details
1993 The Mystical Gate of Reincarnation
  • Released: November 30, 1993 (1993-11-30)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
1994 Vision the Chaos
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Boundless


List of Demos
Year Album details
1992 The Death Gate Cycle of Reincarnation
  • Released: February 1992
  • Label: Socan
1993 The Vortex of Resurrection
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
1993 Rehearsal
  • Released: March 1993
  • Label:

Split albums[edit]

List of split albums
Year Album details
1995 Dream II
  • split with Katatonia, Therion, Dismember and Pan.Thy.Monium
  • Released: 1995
  • Label: Morbid Noizz Productions

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Directed Album Ref
"The Awakener" 1996 Maurice Deverault Temple of Knowledge [7]
"In Shadows & Dust" 2002 SVBell Shadows & Dust [7]
"As I Slither" 2004 Joe Lynch Serenity in Fire [7]
"Crippled & Broken" 2006 Maurice Swinkels In the Arms of Devastation [7]
"To Reign Again" [7]
"Taking the World by Storm" 2008 David Brodsky Prevail [8]
"Blood in Heaven" 2009 Maxime Hebert [9]
"Push the Venom" 2010 Ivan Colic Heaven's Venom [10]
"At the Edge of the World" 2011 Tommy Jones [11]
"Iron Will" 2012 Iron Will [12]
"Elevate" 2013
Waiting for the End to Come [13]
"The American Way" 2014 Tommy Jones [14]


  1. ^ "HugeDomains.com - UraniumMusic.com is for sale". Uraniummusic.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  2. ^ "10 Best Thrash Metal Bands". AOL Radio Blog. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  3. ^ Staff writer(s); no by-line. "Discographie Kataklysm". austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Staff writer(s); no by-line. "Longplay-Chartverfolgung". musicline.de (in German). PHONONET GmbH. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ Staff writer(s); no by-line. "Discography Kataklysm". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Kataklysm – Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Live in Deutschland: The Devastation Begins (DVD booklet). Kataklysm. Nuclear Blast. 2007. p. 3. 
  8. ^ "Kataklysm Release First Video From Forthcoming Album - #AltSounds". Hangout.altsounds.com. 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  9. ^ "KATAKLYSM's 'Blood In Heaven' Video Now Available". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  10. ^ "Kataklysm: 'Push The Venom' Video Released". Blabbermouth.net. 2010-08-12. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  11. ^ "Kataklysm: 'At The Edge Of The World' Video Released". Blabbermouth.net. 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  12. ^ "Kataklysm: 'Iron Will' Video Released". Blabbermouth.net. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  13. ^ "Kataklysm: 'Elevate' Video Released". Blabbermouth.net. 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  14. ^ "KATAKLYSM - "The American Way" Video Clip ... - Nuclear Blast". Nuclearblast.de. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 

External links[edit]