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3 stars "Live Consternation" is a live album release by Swedish metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in May 2007. It features Katatonia's full live performance from Germany's Summerbreeze open air festival 2006. A DVD version of the release is also available, and there is a limited edition deluxe version available too, which features both the audio and the video part of the release.

At the time of the performance Katatonia's latest album release was "The Great Cold Distance (2006)", which is their 7th full-length studio album, so they had enough material to chose from. The 12 tracks on the 51:52 minutes long album predominantly features tracks culled from "Viva Emptiness (2003)" and "The Great Cold Distance (2006)", with a few selections from "Discouraged Ones (1998)" and "Tonight's Decision (1999)". So no material from the bandīs early doom/death metal releases, and maybe a bit more surprising, not a single track from "Last Fair Deal Gone Down (2001)".

The performance is tight and for the most part pretty convincing. Itīs a bit odd to hear Jonas Renkse introduce most songs in a raw shouting voice, and then go directly into tracks where he performs his mellow, melancholic, and emotive vocal style. Itīs not a contrast which works that well, when you expect something hard and heavy and then get a The Cure" influenced track like "Cold Ways" instead (just an example of the odd nature of the song introductions). When that is said the overall quality of the performances are solid and itīs a joy listening to tracks like "Wealth", "Soilīs Song", and "Evidence" being played live.

The sound quality is on a professional level. Itīs organic, heavy, and powerful, and it suits the music well. There are a few times during some of the less layered and more quiet parts, that the music sounds a bit empty, but thatīs probably not unusual with music as dynamic as this.

Upon conclusion "Live Consternation" is a good quality live release. Considering the fact that itīs the bandīs first live release, I could maybe have wished that the tracklist would have featured at least one track from each of their seven studio albums up until then, but since the show is taken from a festival performance, where they donīt necessarily played in front of their core audience, the tracklist makes more sense. Festival audience members not familiar with the bandīs death/doom past, would probably be a bit confused if Renkse suddenly started growling. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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Posted Thursday, September 1, 2016 | Review Permalink

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