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Katatonia Last Fair Deal Gone Down album cover
4.20 | 69 ratings | 2 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dispossession (5:36)
2. Chrome (5:14)
3. We Must Bury You (2:50)
4. Teargas (3:23)
5. I Transpire (5:56)
6. Tonight's Music (4:20)
7. Clean Today (4:23)
8. The Future of Speech (5:40)
9. Passing Bird (3:38)
10. Sweet Nurse (3:57)
11. Don't Tell a Soul (5:42)

Total Time: 50:44

Bonus tracks on 2004 & 2007 reissues:
12. Sulfur (6:23)
13. March 4 (3:53)
14. Help Me Disappear (5:14)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jonas Renkse / lead & backing vocals
- Anders "Blackheim" Nyström / guitar, Mellotron
- Fredrik Norrman / guitar
- Mattias Norrman / bass
- Daniel Liljekvist / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Travis Smith

CD Peaceville ‎- CDVILE 89 (2001, UK)
CD Peaceville ‎- CDVILED 89 (2004, UK) Remastered with 3 bonus tracks

2xLP Peaceville ‎- VILELP 89 (2007, UK) Remastered with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to Prog Sothoth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars For my tastes this is where KATATONIA finally found their sound and could do no wrong. Yes "Discouraged Ones" will always be one of my top albums by this band but that was a unique album in that it was an incredibly sad record and also a transitionary recording as well, and these are not a negative things at all in my opinion. Everything about this album trumps the previous record "Tonight's Decision". There's better vocals and song writing from Jonas as I feel he has finally hit his potential here. Also the sound here couldn't be better, crystal clear as they say and this is also much more dynamic and powerful as they really do kick some ass on this album. Oh and as a bonus Anders the long time guitarist decided to use mellotron on this record which really adds a lot to the sound. Travis Smith is back doing the cover art and his bleak style fits the music perfectly.

I can't do a top three as eight of the eleven songs on here are incredible and I really like the other three, so yes five stars seems appropriate. "Dispossession" sounds incredible when it kicks into gear before 30 seconds. Such a deep and powerful sound as the guitar starts to solo over top. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in as it settles, mellotron too. Love the contrasts between the powerful and mellow sections. A cool passage starts after 4 minutes with atmosphere and strummed guitar, almost psychedelic sounding then it kicks back in before 5 minutes. Nice. "Chrome" is a great track and probably my favourite. Check out that melancholic guitar intro which is promptly blown away before a minute with power. The drumming impresses here. Reserved vocals and sound 1 1/2 minutes in then it kicks in hard after 2 minutes as the vocals continue. He sings "Burn down my house, make something happen, stab me in the heart... 'cause I'm so distracted, I am slightly shocked by how things keep going like a dead man's clock."

"We Must Bury You" has some disturbing lyrics but man what a great tune. Strummed guitar and vocals lead the way early and we get some mellotron before it kicks in hard before a minute. Jonas sings with passion "We must bury you, we must bury you, we must bury you so deep that none can find you." I skipped writing down the disturbing lyrics from earlier in the song. The contrasts between the powerful and mellow are so good! "Teargas" hits us with an all out assault quickly but it settles down just as fast with reserved vocals. The chorus is intense and moving as Jonas sings "What is it in my eyes, a piece of glass. Is this the time I should be on my knees for you, is this your way telling another has been found. Now I know teargas in my eyes." Gulp.

"I Transpire" hits the ground running then it calms right down after a minute with mellotron, vocals and more. How good is the chorus as it kicks back in. Contrasts continue. He sings "Do they know I'm afraid, so afraid. They depend on my worries so I know I'm awake, I'm right in the circle now, I am with them." Hair-raising imagery. "Tonight's Music" is another good one as they contrast the heavy and mellow sections well. Such a sad tune lyrically but then Jonas has this gift for writing melancholic music. "Clean Today" has some cool lyrics about hope. Some heavy riffs in this one as well which surprised me the first time I heard it.

"The Future Of Speech" opens with mellotron and picked guitar in this atmospheric intro. It kicks in hard with vocals arriving just before a minute. The laid back intro with mellotron returns as this continues to be contrasted with the powerful passages. Guitar only before 4 minutes then it kicks back in. So good as Jonas sings with emotion "A brand new day it can't get worse, hear myself say it can't get worse." "Passing Bird" is different as he tells a story about a girl. A melodic and mid-paced tune with the focus on the relaxed vocals. I really dig the lyrics, mellotron and depth of sound here. "Sweet Nurse" is another good story about a girl. I'm touched by this one and I really like the chorus, it's so uplifting. "Don't Tell A Soul" ends it and it starts with laid back guitar, bass and a beat as the mellotron joins in. Riffs follow around a minute in then vocals. I like the drumming here and the ripping guitar before 4 minutes as the vocals stop. Riffs and vocals return around 5 minutes in.

A top three album for me for 2001. A really good place to start as well in my opinion with this band.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish alternative/doom/progressive rock/metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in May 2001. It´s the successor to "Tonight´s Decision" from 1999 and features a couple of lineup changes as bassist Mattias Norrman and drummer Daniel Liljekvist have been added to the lineup. It was the first stable lineup in the band´s career, and it would last on four consequtive albums.

Stylistically "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" continues the alternative rock/metal style of "Tonight´s Decision (1999)", but with a stronger focus on variation between tracks and experimentation with song structures and compositional details. Listening to "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" it becomes clear that the two direct predecessors were transitional albums, and that this album is a more complete release. Not that Katatonia stopped progressing at this point, because that´s far from true (and in that respect this album can also be called a transitional album), but to my ears this is the first Katatonia album which sounds completely satisfying, and where I don´t have any complaints about sub par sound productions, underdeveloped drumming, or untrained/uncertain clean vocal performances. They hit magic here and maybe the last couple of albums should be viewed as training exercises to hone their songwriting and playing skills, to make them ready to write and record "Last Fair Deal Gone Down".

Katatonia already stripped most of their early death/doom elements on "Discouraged Ones (1998)", and although both that album and "Tonight´s Decision (1999)" are still fairly heavy albums, they are not the most metal oriented albums. Instead it´s artists like Tool and The Cure, or maybe more correctly a combination of heavy alternative rock/metal and dark new wave/alternative rock, which is a more valid description of the band´s music. That description is true for the material on "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" too. There is a lot of use of light/dark atmospheres and heavy and mellow sections, and Jonas Renkse´s melancholic lyrics and vocal performance aren´t far removed from the most dark and depressive Robert Smith (The Cure) moments (take a listen to "Tonight´s Music" and see if you disagree). Katatonia have audible influences but they still manage to create a personal and unique sound, and they are one of those rare artists who are instantly recognisable.

The conscious decision to write a varied album with strong individual tracks while still maintaining a strong tracklist flow and album coherence works here and each track stand out clearly. While all tracks are high quality material, I´d mention the four opening tracks ("Dispossession", "Chrome", "We Must Bury You", and "Teargas"), "Tonight´s Music", and "Sweet Nurse", as some of the highlights of the album. The performances are strong on all posts, and although it´s impossible not to mention Renkse´s soft voice, and heartfelt and melancholic delivery, the instrumental performances deserve just as much praise. There is a near perfect balance between heavy loud playing and mellow softer sections, and the transitions between the two types of sections work well. Add to those elements a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, and "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is through and through a high quality release. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

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