Sound — 10
In The Arms Of Devastation is clearly Kataklysm's greatest achievement. A milestone for Death/Thrash metal if I ever saw one. Kataklysm have come a long way from the band that brought you crazy music videos that make no sense to their professional, polished sound, which can only be defined as a take no prisoners, bad-ass, machine gun assault kind of approach. Kataklysm isn't a band that keeps you waiting for three or four years before putting something out; from 1992 to 1996 the band released new records yearly. Even from 2000 to 2002 Kataklysm managed to release three more (Prophecy, Poetry of War, Shadows and Dust). Fans know that this brutal Montreal band is truly dedicated to music, and In The Arms of Devastation is no exception. As usual, Kataklysm incorporate a famous movie quote into their intro: Revenge is a meal best served cold, quoted from Man On Fire. Appropriate is right; if I wanted to take revenge on someone I would do it listening to this album. Song titles such as Let them Burn, Crippled and Broken, and Open Scars are enough to give a thematic idea. Every song is brutal, every riff chunky (like peanut butter), and what can I say about the drumming? Blast beats, and more blast beats. Max Duhamel is one of the only drummers I listen to that actually sounds like he's not using triggers. You can really hear the effort. They don't call their musical style Northern Hyperblast for nothing.
Lyrics — 10
Kataklysm's lyrics seem to point towards the band's own experiences. The chorus in Temptation's Nest: "his is my life, these are my dreams, this is my temptation" and "All of these sins I won't regret" give off a personal vibe. On Kataklysm's myspace their influences are described as the world and all it's extremities, which I can only assume are taken to a lyrical level as well. The words are also delivered aggressively and match the musical style. Maurizio Iacono delivers a good mix of higher pitched and lower growls/screams that are nothing short of impressive. They almost sound like they're being done by two people, and I can tell you that live they sound no different.
Overall Impression — 9
My two favourite tracks off Arms of Devastation are To Reign Again for the catchy main riff right after the acoustic intro, and Open Scars for, well, all of it. Thrashy is one way to describe it. The quality tracks off the album are, however, Like Angels Weeping and The Road To Devastation. Road to devastation is a great dramatic ending to a brutal release, especially with the clock timer at the end. However, I usually skip Let Them Burn or It Turns To Rust. They're great songs, but not hard hitters like Crippled and Broken or Like Angels Weeping. Overall fantastic album, a must for any metal head's collection.