Sound — 9
Kataklysm is a death metal band from Canada. They released this album in 2004 and, if you're asking me, they should be very proud of it. Album is produced by band's guitarist Jean-Francois Dagenais, and he did hell of a work on it. Guitars sound really powerful and massive, vocals are done great, only thing I don't like very much about production is the sound of the drums. They don't sound natural, I guess the drum triggers were used a lot here. You can hear everything very clear, mixing is done great. "Serenity In Fire" contains ten songs. After a short intro, first track called "The Ambassador Of Pain" starts with brutal downtuned guitar riffs, unbelievably f--king fast drums and growl vocals. This is in my opinion the most brutal song on the album, and a great choice to open the album. Next track, "Ressurected" starts with really fast blast beats, but it's mostly a mid-tempo song. And a really good one too. Next song is "As I Slither," not a very fast song, but it's kinda catchy. I wouldn't call it very special, but I still like it for some reason. Fourth track on the album is "For All Our Sins." Peter Tagtgren from Hypocrisy did some guest vocals on this song. The song is really fast, but it's also one of the most melodic tracks on the album. "The Night They Return" is fifth track and it's one of my favourite songs on the album. Really fast and brutal song, with a mid tempo groovy riff during the chorus, I think this is a song which should satisfy everyone who like brutal death metal. After it starts title track "Serenity In Fire." Nothing special to say about this one, it's actually the worst song on the album to me. I'm not saying it's bad, I just can't find anything special in it. But you easily stop thinking about this song when you hear the beginning of the next one "Blood On The Swans," it starts with drummer doing one of the fastest blast beats I've ever heard, if not the fastest. Then the guitars come in, after it vocals come in too. This is another brutal song which has the power of a nuclear bomb. Track number eight is "10 Seconds From The End." A very good song with both faster and slower parts, but I think that the next track "The Tragedy I Preach" is one of the highlights on the album. Mid-tempo riff starts the song, soon the drummer comes in and then you just have to enjoy dark atmosphere the song creates. Last song on the album is "Under Bleeding Sun." It's very melodic and fast, and it's the only song on the album which contains a guitar solo, which was actually played by the bassist Stephane Barbe, not the guitarist. So I guess this would be my view on the sound and music. Rating? I think it deserves 9.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics? Hmmm, I never was very good for reviewing lyrics, but I'll try. Some of the lyrics on the album don't have very deep meaning, such as "The Ambassador Of Pain" or "The Night They Returned," they're just about typical death metal stuff like killing people and destroying everything (what else could you expect from a song called "The Ambassador Of Pain"), but there's also some lyrics which have something in themselves, some kind of a message maybe, I don't know how to explain it, I'm mostly thinking about some lines in the last two songs. Singer Maurizio Iacono wrote all of the lyrics. His singing skill are mostly the same as every other's death metal vocalist. Mostly growling, some screaming and that's it. Of course, with this type of music you shouldn't expect something else very much, cause it fits great with the music.
Overall Impression — 9
I think this is a great album. Every death metal fan should try to get it, or at least listen to it once. I like the whole album, so I won't try to pick the best songs off of it, because they all sound great when you listen to the whole album. Band members' playing skills are not something very special, except the drummer's. Martin Maurais is one of the fastest drummers I've ever heard. This is the only album he recorded with the band, so if you like fast death metal drummers listen to this album. "Serenity In Fire" is an excellent album. Everything else I could say about it would be unnecessary.