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On disc: Katatonia

Live Consternation - Philip Thelen - 7 stars
Dead End Kings - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Dethroned & Uncrowned - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Dethroned And Uncrowned

Dethroned & Uncrowned
(KScope - 2013)

Many will criticize Katatonia for their latest album Dethroned & Uncrowned, but in this case it was the label pressing and there should be enough interested in this album, coz the money was raised via PledgeMusic within no time. The album is presenting the songs of Dead End Kings in an acoustic sound. And so the opener The Parting shows the way into an album full of orchestral sounds, but in a very reduced way. Jonas Renkse's vocals sound fragile and so gives the songs a different touch. With piano begins Hypnone, the song has a bittersweet edge - sweet melodies topped with a dark, almost depressive vocal line. Enchanting. In a way it describes the whole album, it's just enchanting. I can just recommend it to everybody who likes acoustic sounds and songs with a dark edge. Sure, it's a matter of taste and so everybody will have a favorite song. Give Katatonia with the dethroned drums and uncrowned guitars a chance - especially if you love Dead End Kings!

Track listing:

The Parting
The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here
The Racing Heart
Undo You
First Prayer
Dead Letters

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Dead End Kings

Dead End Kings
(Peaceville Records - 2012)

Swedish band Katatonia is always surprising their fans with new elements. Their sonic journey started with death doom and led them to nowadays progressive dark rock. Not all their fans from the early days followed them on their journey, but others discovered them later on their way.

They kick off with The Parting, first vocals, then heavy riffs set in - and a little later give way for some atmospheric sounds. Singer Jonas Renske's expressive vocals give the song the special something. At The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here they present a guest, The Gathering singer Silje Wergeland. And even if Katatonia are more melancholy than The Gathering both bands create soundscapes and so Silje Wergeland seems to be perfect for this track. Let them enchant you with The Racing Heart! Katatonia left the metal sounds behind, even if there are some reminiscences to their past, and entered the world of dark atmospheric rock. The songs leading into each other... It doesn't matter if you pick Buildings, Leech or Ambitions, you'll get a good impression of Dead End Kings. First Prayer is slightly different... Not as melancholy as other tracks, even if the vocals have a sad note there seems to be a spark of hope. The closer is called Dead Letters, it's more progressive than the previous tunes. Again they focus on creating a certain atmosphere - this time with some heavy guitar riffing. If this is where they are heading to, then the next album will be a quite progressive rock album.

This journey into Katatonia's sonic universe might not please everybody, some might find their latest output not as good as Night Is The New Day, but I think the album need several spins to discover the details. Let them carry you away into the sonic universe of Dead End Kings!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Live Consternation

Live Consternation
(Peaceville - 2007)

At last years Summerbreeze Festival Katatonia had the chance to record a live album - and they did! And Live Consternation is the result of this recordings. Most songs are from The Great Cold Distance.
When I first listened it didn't really get me, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it. Katatonia's melancholy doom metal needs time to grow - at least on me. But when you get into it, then it's a lot of fun. Especially songs like Wealth, Soil's Song and Had To (Leave) impress me. The music is slightly hypnotic and that's what makes it interesting. They include progressive and doom riffs in their songs.
A great live album which is more interesting for fans of the band, but people who just discovered them get a good view over the bands career. Unfortunately the songs are quite similar, but the audience seemed to like it a lot.. And the communication between their front man and the fans did help.
Check out: Leaders, Soil's Song, Had To (Leave), Cold Ways and Right Into The Bliss.

7 stars

Philip Thelen
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)

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