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Katatonia - Dance Of December Souls CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.44 | 49 ratings

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3 stars "Dance of December Souls" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish doom/death metal act Katatonia. The album was originally released through No Fashion Records in December 1993 but has seen several reissues since. "Dance of December Souls" was recorded at Dan Swanö´s Unisound Studios and produced by Dan Swanö and Katatonia. Swanö also plays keyboards on the album.

The music on the album is doom/death metal with a blackened edge. The latter musical influence is mostly heard in the vocals which are sometimes snarling raspy type vocals rather than deep growling vocals. The album features a dark and doom laden atmosphere which suits the predominantly slow and heavy tracks well. The use of gloomy lead guitar parts and atmospheric keyboards add another defining dimension to the music.

The album features five "regular" doom/death metal tracks which are between 6 and (just shy of) 14 minutes long and three shorter intro/outro/interludes. There isn´t much variation between tracks, and that´s the major issue with the album. But on the other hand Katatonia had a unique sound already this early on, and that deserves praise. Despite the slightly one- dimensional nature of the music, the album is entertaining all the way through the 53:31 minutes long playing time.

The musicianship leaves a bit to be desired though, which unfortunately is made further clear because of the sound production. The drum sound and especially how they are played sound a bit amaturish and awkward to my ears. It´s obvious why it was one of the best decisions of Katatonia´s career to relieve Jonas Renkse from his drumming duties to fully concentrate on his singing. The weak bass sound should also be mentioned as a slight sound production issue.

"Dance of December Souls" is widely considered a "classic" doom/death metal album, and considering it was released in 1993 I understand why that is. Especially their atmospheric and blackened take on the genre was something new and a bit different from the their contemporaries (artists like Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride). A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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