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Katatonia - Sanctitude CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.14 | 17 ratings

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4 stars "Sanctitude" is a live album/DVD release by Swedish progressive/alternative rock/metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Kscope Music in March 2015. "Sanctitude" bridges the gab between the band´s 10th and 11th full-length studio albums "Dethroned & Uncrowned (2013)" and "The Fall of Hearts (2016)". It´s a split release featuring both an audio disc and a concert DVD of the same show, filmed and recorded May 16th 2014, in London's Union Chapel as part of the "Dethroned & Uncrowned (2013)" tour. In addition to that the DVD part of the release also features a documentary titled "Beyond the Chapel", which among other things features interviews with both Anders Nyström (guitars) and Jonas Renkse (vocals). "Sanctitude" is also available on vinyl, featuring only the audio material.

As the show is from the tour supporting "Dethroned & Uncrowned (2013)", which is an acoustic version of "Dead End Kings (2012)", it´s no surprise that "Sanctitude" features a predominantly acoustic show, with focus on acoustic guitars and vocals, but with the occasional use of percussion and programming/keyboards (and the occasional use of electric guitar lead themes). The setlist is culled from various releases in the band´s relatively large discography. The oldest track is "Day" from "Brave Murder Day (1996)", but tracks like "Tonight´s Music", "Teargas", and "Gone" also represent the older (although not early doom/death part of the band´s discography), while tracks like "In the White", "Undo You", "Unfurl", and "The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here" (featuring Silje Wergeland from The Gathering on vocals), represent the latter part of the band´s discography (up until then). A mid-period album like is represented by no less than four tracks in "One Year from Now", "Sleeper", "Omerta", and "Evidence".

The band´s performance is more or less flawless and Renkse, who is naturally the center of the attention, is skillfully backed up with harmony vocals and choirs by both Nyström and session guitarist Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief). The DVD part of the album shows a relatively relaxed band but also a pretty introvert one, and it´s not many words that are said between the songs. Renkse is an incredibly paatos filled and emotive singer, but his stage performance has always been a bit shy and lacking presence. Katatonia let the music speak for itself instead, and when you can do it with this high level of professionalism and impactful emotional delivery, you don´t necessarily have to engage too much in audience communication. When that is said Renkse communicates more with the audience here, than I´ve ever heard him do before, and he generally just seems to be enjoying himself, which contributes greatly to the relaxed atmosphere of the show.

"Sanctitude" features an organic and well sounding production and overall the CD/DVD set is a high quality release, immortalizing a speciel event in the band´s career. Some tracks naturally translates well to the acoustic versions, while others have been re-arranged a bit, but none of them lose their original melancholic atmosphere and they all work pretty well. To my ears highlights include "Teargas", "One Year from Now", "Day" (which is about 100 times more interesting in this version compared to the original), and the beautiful "Idle Blood" (that melody is enchanting...). So upon conclusion "Sanctitude" is another high quality release by Katatonia and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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