No autumn feels complete without a new Katatonia-album. Not only is the music perfect for a season where the bright days become shorter than the dark nights, but also visually this Stockholm-quintet have always stood out as the band for the fall, which the creepy video for the new single Day And Then The Shade is just one of many examples of.
The appetizer Forsaker with its echoing alarm and chewing intro riff hinted that the three long years that it took to make Night Is The New Day was worth the wait. Everyone who has heard and liked the three latest Katatonia-albums will immediately feel right at home, the arrangements are as tasteful as ever with crystal clear guitar arpeggios, dynamic drumming, brooding electronics and Jonas Renkse's mournful singing voice.
The distinctive difference this time around is that the band here chooses to challenge themselves a bit more often than earlier and that the song structures more rarely follows the same formula.
The song material is also stronger than on the previous albums, and the excellent Forsaker is quickly surpassed by many new favourites. One is the acoustic Idle Blood, which reminds quite a bit of another progressive band from Stockholm (you know which one I refer to) but the chorus is so captivating that it makes you hope that Katatonia will do more acoustic pieces in the future.
Onward Into Battle is also one of the best tracks the band has created, with unexpected turns and a chorus that rises higher than a church cathedral.
There are no particular weaknesses to be found, even if some of the tracks on the album's second half aren't quite as striking as those in the beginning. In my opinion the doom effort Nephilim should definitely have been replaced by the clearly superior bonus track Ashen, for example.
Towards the end the band hits all the right notes again though, the best song being the glowing duet Departer, where Renkse spars together with Krister Linder. Here Linder is more low-key than in Enter The Hunt, but the result is simply magical, and also proof enough that this is not only Katatonia's greatest hour yet but also a very strong candidate for the title Album Of The Year.
also review of: The
Great Cold Distance