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Katatonia - Night is the New Day CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.12 | 55 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars KATATONIA have changed musical directions a few times over their careers which has probably cost them fans but at the same time gained them some new ones. This is one of three major changes in their sound. This is where they have increased the atmosphere big time and at the same time we get less hooks and less metal. It was pretty shocking hearing this one for the first time, I was really disappointed. So it's surprising even to me that I'm giving this 4 stars but it is a grower once I got used to this new style. It's kind of a cross between PORCUPINE TREE and OPETH's "Damnation" album which should have meant instant love from yours truly, but it did take several spins to get to that point of being impressed with what I was hearing. And there's no going back now as there's this beauty about this recording that I can't deny. I love that it clocks in at under 50 minutes as well. Again Travis Smith did the cover art, and he's gone with the same style as the artwork on "The Great Cold Distance".

"Forsaker" opens with sounds that pulsate but they are soon crushed by the heaviness that quickly follows. It then settles into a psychedelic haze with vocals. Dreamy stuff. It's more powerful on the chorus. These guys are so good at contrasting the heavy with the mellow. It sounds like the guitar on "Damnation" after 3 minutes as we get a melancholic and laid back guitar solo. It's heavy duty at 3 1/2 minutes to the end. "The Longest Year" has relaxed vocals and sound to start as strings join in as well. It kicks in hard before 1 1/2 minutes as the vocals stop but they are back before 2 minutes. I really like this passage and it will return late to end the song.

"Idle Blood" was a tune that I instantly disliked the first time I heard it but now it's a favourite. Jonas almost sounds like Steven Wilson when he sings on this one. Some nice bass here and man this song is so uplifting and moving. Faint vocals 3 1/2 minutes really bring PT to mind. "Onward To Battle" features sounds that echo as the drums pound then the vocals join in. This is laid back with plenty of depth. I'm so moved by the chorus as themes are repeated.

"Liberation" opens with heavy riffs and sound followed by a calm with reserved vocals and little else. Why does the line "I've changed my name but I will pass it on to you" touch me so much? The heavy and mellow are contrasted and it's very PT-like before 3 minutes during this heavy section. So good! "The Promise Of Deceit" has lyrics that I really appreciate. It does build some but settles on the chorus each time. It's heavier before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. "Nephilim" is heavy and dark with disturbing lyrics about a Nephilim coming for her son as he comes from the skies through the foul air to take this son who's morals have declined. The relaxed sections are great contrasts to the dark and heavy passages. "New Night" is heavy and mid-paced. I like that Swedish melancholy as felt through the guitar and lyrics especially. Keys 3 1/2 minutes in then it kicks back into a moving section once again.

"Inheritance" opens with strings as reserved vocals join in. Drums too then the vocals stop after 2 minutes as the strings return. Contrasts continue. I like the spacey atmosphere 3 minutes in. "Day And Then The Shade" is heavy and fairly uptempo to start. When the vocals arrive before a minute it makes me smile, such a feel good section. Contrasts continue. "Departer" is such a great way to end this album as we get this ominous sound and it's dark. A sad and melancholic tune to say the least with haunting vocals thrown in. It does seem to brighten some before 3 1/2 minutes reminding me of PT. It's like something is about to happen during this instrumental section but it never does. Vocals are back after 4 minutes.

After getting used to this new direction that KATATONIA have moved on to I've certainly been won over with these meaningful songs. It's far from a perfect album though and I'd rate it down quite a bit from some of my favourite KATATONIA albums. A solid 4 stars regardless.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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