Fireworks

Katatonia - 'Dethroned And Uncrowned' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c0/fa/1b/katatonia-dethroned-and-uncrowned-23-1391732645.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 07, 2014    
 
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The Swedish depressive metal band have taken a step that is likely to polarise opinion.

Quiet is the new heavy on this record. The Swedish depressive metal band have taken a step that is likely to polarise opinion. They've taken their fine 'Dead End Kings' album from last year, which showed them to continue to push a more progressive sound, and they've totally re-imagined it. Bravely for a Metal band they've jettisoned the electric guitars and exiled the drums. Instead, the instrumentation relies on acoustic guitar, harmony vocals, strings and orchestration. The result is a fantastically haunting record. Jonas Renske's melancholic voice drifts over the songs like a thick dense fog enveloping a barren landscape. This record is the sound of the dead of winter. It's gloomy but at the same time strangely beautiful.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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If you're familiar with 'Dead End Kings' it might be hard to hear the songs afresh, but if you haven't heard that record this makes for a very cohesive piece of work. The minimalist instrumentation means initially songs can sound similar, but on repeated listens the disc reveals each song's depth in a new light. The piano line on 'Hypnone', the female vocals (Silje Wereland) on the less than cheerfully entitled 'The One You Are looking For Is Not Here', the layered vocals on 'The Parting', the gothic, lounge misery of 'Leech', the organ and flute of closer 'Dead Letters' all offer different textures. The effect is like forty shades of grey (the colour, not the book).

The haunting line on 'The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here' of "Will unfold my empty space/Your time froze over" could almost be referring to the experience of listening to this record. A band prepared to push boundaries (after nine albums compare their debut to this to see how different they are), and suffer the wrath of some fans for changing so much but ultimately their courage to experiment and move forward can only be good for them and the listener.

Duncan Jamieson

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