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Katatonia - Brave Murder Day CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.74 | 39 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I must admit I was shocked to see KATATONIA added to the site here, especially after being rejected a couple of times. I thought Dean made a good point in one of the discussions about this band by stating that all of us want our favourite bands on this site so we can discuss and review the music that means so much to us. Of course the problem is that some of our favourite bands don't qualify to be on here. So I was content to let this dream of KATATONIA being on here disappear. It's interesting that their latest album is what has qualified them for PA. A Prog-Metal album of sorts with longer songs. Interesting because their first two albums featured long tracks already which they would get away from on their third album "Discouraged Ones".

Fellow Swedes Jonas Renkse and Anders Nystrom formed the band in the early nineties and they have been friends since they were very young. Both were fanboys of PARADISE LOST and in fact loved the British Doom Metal scene which also included MY DYING BRIDE and ANATHEMA. They liked that atmospheric dynamic to the music. They were already huge Death Metal and Black Metal fans, especially of fellow Swedes BATHORY, so they created something unique by combining these sub-genres to create their own sound. OPETH and ENSLAVED would also do this adding melodic passages and atmosphere to that extreme sound. Heavy yet beautiful and sad. Gothic but with that harsh metallic edge.

And speaking of OPETH, we get Mikael Akerfeldt a friend of the band singing the harsh vocals on "Brave Murder Day" KATATONIA's second album because Jonas torched his vocals singing in that extreme manner on the first album and the tour that would follow. Jonas would sing on the track "Day" with clean, mono-toned vocals, and while fans of the band generally hated that tune it is perhaps the most significant track in their discography because it would lead to Jonas being the full time singer and of course using clean vocals only. And while "Day" is my favourite song on here, Jonas' vocals aren't the greatest but they will improve in a major way on the albums that would follow.

I don't own the debut "Dance Of December Souls" but have heard samples, and I can say that the first two albums do little for me. Death Metal fans seemed to hate the new direction they would go after this second album. For what it's worth RYM has "Brave Murder Day" rated as their best studio album. So count me in the minority as I love sad and melodic music and I feel that "Discouraged Ones"(third album) is the first great KATATONIA album, and I'm so glad they went in that direction. And while I feel that a lot of sad music is beautiful and moving, I feel that their first two albums are depressing and cold.

So "Brave Murder Day" is considered one of KATATONIA's best yet I'm not feeling it even with Akerfeldt on here. Lots of twin lead guitars, repetition, double bass drumming, growls and long songs on the first two albums, but like with ANATHEMA I prefer them when they cut out much of their Death Metal influences. Heck even the album covers that follow would improve over the first two. 3 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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