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Katatonia - The Great Cold Distance CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.94 | 56 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Well this is the one, my favourite KATATONIA album. I had an "In Absentia" moment the first time I heard this one, which simply means I remember very well where I was when I first spun it and more importantly how blown away I was at the time. There are a few changes from the last recording. First, Travis Smith while still doing the cover art has changed it up adding red to his normally bleak, black and brown art work. Second the atmosphere has been amped up big time which I love as they use FX, loops, programming and effects to great use. Third Jonas' voice is different as it seems smoother and softer and it really works for me. I'd describe this album as a cross between TOOL and PORCUPINE TREE as we still get the heaviness of the last couple of albums but the atmosphere has been increased big time. Bottom line though is that the songs here impress me so much. It's like hearing great tune after great tune all the way through. Like many have stated before me, this is one addictive record. I'm giving my top six tracks this time which is half of the album I know but this is just so good.

"Leaders" is a top six and a great way to start the album. A heavy psychedelic vibe to start before it kicks in hard. Vocals before a minute as it settles, yet we get some heavy, spacey effects. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. A long scream before 2 1/2 minutes sounds amazing and it's back around 4 minutes to end it. "Deliberation" has a nice heavy rhythm with guitar melodies over top as Jonas sings. It's heavier just before a minute but contrasts will continue. So much atmosphere along with a killer chorus. "Soil's Song" is a top six for sure. It's laid back with vocals and a catchy beat to start. This addictive rhythm kicks in early. So good! A spacey calm around 1 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in. Strings end it.

"My Twin" is a top six and how good does this sound early on. That dark and heavy atmosphere with these great vocals. It's so moving when the chorus arrives. Love the instrumental interlude after 2 1/2 minutes. "Consternation" starts with one of the heavier sections of the album. Processed vocals join in quickly as it settles some but not for long. A kick ass song as the vocals switch from processed to normal. I really like the spacey undercurrent after 1 1/2 minutes. It's almost shocking how bright it becomes a minute later then it kicks back in hard before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. "Follower" is a top six and this one is quite dark with vocals. It reminds me of TOOL quite a bit as well. It kicks in hard after a minute followed by a spacey atmosphere as it settles back and contrasts continue. Great track and I like the prominent bass here.

"Rusted" has intricate guitar as the drums and vocals join in. This actually has a feel good vibe which is surprising but that changes when it kicks into gear before a minute. Lots of riffs and heaviness here and then it turns uplifting again. Man I like this song but it's just outside of my top six. "Increase" is crushing from the start but then it calms right down with vocals before a minute. Contrasts continue and the contrasts are huge between the heavy and light passages. "July" is a top six as we get abrasive guitar to start as the vocals join in quickly followed by drums and a wall of sound. Love the TOOL-like urgent rhythm and that long scream. Nice! It's so emotional before 2 minutes. What an incredible piece of music as themes are repeated.

"In The White" is my final top six tune. What impresses me most about this song besides how different it is from the rest is that Swedish melancholy and the LANDBERK-like guitar and mood. The heaviness that is contrasted is killer. "The Itch" is the heaviest track on here overall. After a bombastic intro it settles with vocals. The title of the album is part of the lyrics here. A wall of sound before 1 1/2 minutes and there's that long scream I love late. "Journey Through Pressure" is powerful and slower paced with vocals. So much depth of sound here along with emotion in the vocals. Jonas sings "The sky mover faster this time of year" as in "The sky moves sideways faster this time of year" if you know what I mean.

What can I say about this one? It blew me away the first time I heard it and my opinion after many years hasn't changed. If you've been taking a pass on KATATONIA because of the advertised gloom and doom please check this one out, I think you'll be more than surprised. Masterpiece!

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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