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Kataklysm Strasbourg 81007 01.jpg
Kataklysm live 2007
Background information
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Melodic death metal, 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 Kataklysm's former drummer, Max Duhamel, fused 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.

Apart from drummers, 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 29, 2013, and their twelfth album Of Ghosts and Gods was released on July 31, 2015. Their thirteenth studio album, Meditations, is due for release in 2018.[1]


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.[2] The band is ranked 7th on AOL Radio's list of the 10 best death metal bands.[3]

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 kick drum. The following example shows an excerpt from The Road to Devastation:

"Northern Hyperblast", common drum pattern of Kataklysm. The snare drum plays sixteenth notes throughout, while the kick drum plays slow fourths.

About this sound MIDI example 


Stephane Barbe, 2007

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. ^ "KATAKLYSM: 'Meditations' Cover Artwork, Track Listing Unveiled". Blabbermouth.net. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018. 
  2. ^ DManx. "HKataklysm - Maurizio Iacon0". Uraniummusic.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  3. ^ "10 Best Thrash Metal Bands". AOL Radio Blog. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 

External links[edit]