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Katatonia - Viva Emptiness CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.22 | 50 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars They've increased the heaviness and intensity quite a bit on this 2003 release, in fact I'd call it their heaviest record. Lots of riffs as well as once again like on "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" they contrast the mellow with the intense sections throughout. Travis Smith is back and did an amazing job not only with the cover art but with the pictures in the liner notes. Jonas and Anders both use programming this time around and we get some rare slide guitar on one track.

"Ghost Of The Sun" opens with a riff I've heard countless times as this was the cd I used for my alarm to wake me up in the morning for work. No I thought I'd hate it too but I don't(haha). Plenty of riffs and heaviness as the vocals join in. Check out the intensity 1 1/2 minutes in including the screams. So good! This is back again at 3 1/2 minutes and we do get some keys when it settles and also some cool atmosphere when it settles again later before 3 minutes. "Sleeper" has strummed guitar, vocals and atmosphere but it turns powerful each time the chorus arrives. Atmosphere and picked guitar 2 1/2 minutes in then the vocals also join in as this continues to the end.

"Criminals" is a top five. I really like the lyrics and sound to this one and the contrasts are well done once again. "A Premonition" is another top five for me. I especially enjoy the melancholic synth-like sounds. It's intense 1 1/2 minutes in with passionate vocals. "Will I Arrive" is one I'm just not that into. It's heavy from the start, really heavy until the vocals arrive when it settles back as contrasts continue.

"Burn The Remembrance" has lots of heaviness and guitar but it calms right down when the vocals come in before a minute. Contrasts continue and I do like the guitar in this one a lot. "Wealth" is heavy and intense to say the least until it calms down before a minute with vocals. Contrasts continue. "One Year From Now" is different, almost waltz-like with the piano and synth-like sounds. Some slide guitar as well. It kicks in hard after 2 minutes which lasts until the 3 minute mark. It's okay. "Walking By A Wire" features some melancholic sounds that I really like. The heaviness comes and goes as themes are repeated. Good song. "Complicity" is just outside my top five. I especially like the more laid back sections with the drums, bass and depth. Pounding drums and grinding guitars stand out during the heavy sections.

"Evidence" is one of my favourites, in fact a top five. It all works for me including the lyrics and mood. Again the heavy and relaxed sections are contrasted. "Omerta" is a feel good track where the vocals and strummed guitar shine. A top five. "Inside The City Of Glass" is the closing instrumental and part of the title "city of glass" is mentioned in the lyrics of the first track called "Ghost Of The Sun". How abut the mellotron-like sounds during the atmospheric sections and the grinding guitars on the heavy passages. A great way to end it and possibly my favourite tune on here and yes a top five.

I'd rate "Discouraged Ones" and "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" ahead of this one up to this point in their careers. I'm looking forward to giving my thoughts on the albums to follow. 4 stars!

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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