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Katatonia City Burials album cover
3.60 | 87 ratings | 6 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Heart Set to Divide (5:29)
2. Behind the Blood (4:37)
3. Lacquer (4:42)
4. Rein (4:21)
5. The Winter of Our Passing (3:18)
6. Vanishers (4:56)
7. City Glaciers (5:30)
8. Flicker (4:45)
9. Lachesis (1:54)
10. Neon Epitaph (4:32)
11. Untrodden (4:29)

Total Time 48:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Jonas Renkse / vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Anders "Blackheim" Nyström / guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
- Niklas Sandin / bass
- Daniel Moilanen / drums
- Roger Öjersson / guitars

Releases information

Label: Peaceville
Format: Vinyl (Black or Clear), CD, Digital
April 24, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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KATATONIA City Burials ratings distribution

(87 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

KATATONIA City Burials reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "City Burials" is the 12th full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in April 2020. It´s the successor to "The Fall Of Hearts" from 2016 and features the same lineup who recorded the predecessor. Katatonia have a long history of changing their sound and musical style. They started out playing death/doom metal, then toyed with goth/alternative rock/metal, then started playing hard edged riffs and rhythms again, and then for a period mellowed out a bit more, although their music still featured heavy riffs and rhythms. They´ve had a relatively consistent sound on the last couple of releases though...

...and on "City Burials" they pretty much continue down that same melancholic heavy alternative rock/metal path they´ve also travelled on the last couple of releases. It´s the trademark sound of Katatonia, with dynamic use of mellow melancholic sections and heavy riff oriented sections with Jonas Renkse´s soft, emotional, and melancholic vocals and lyrics on top. It´s as bleak and melancholic as ever (ok, maybe not quite as bleak, but just as melancholic) but it´s unfortunately also a little too much by the numbers. There´s nothing wrong with the quality of the songwriting, the musicianship, or the very well sounding production job, but "City Burials" is Katatonia playing it completely safe, and I had hoped that the adventurous souls of the two mainmen behind the band Renkse and Anders Nyström (guitars, keyboards, and backing vocals) had felt the urge to try something different again. Twist their sound in a new direction and not just release another similar sounding album to the last couple of releases.

Alas "City Burials" is more of the same, and maybe that´s perfectly fine for some listeners, but I´ve come to a point where I´ve begun to find it all a bit tedious, and my alarm bells are starting to sound loud and clear that Katatonia have completely stagnated. It´s probably one of the worst critiques you can give an artist, but I´m afraid it´s warranted here. Very few artists have survived making the same album over and over again and I hope Katatonia realise that change is needed for the next album. But for all my disappointment and an attention which wanders while listening to the album, it is as mentioned above still a quality release, and it´s mostly in the context of the band´s discography that "City Burials" disappoints. Katatonia are still able to make some of the most heartfelt, melancholic, and darkly beautiful music on the scene and they do occasionally shine on "City Burials" ("Behind the Blood" is one of the highlights, as it´s a bit different from what we´re used to hear from the band). A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
4 stars Swedish rockers Katatonia deliver a striking collection of melancholic and atmospheric art rock songs on their eleventh studio release - 2020's 'City Burials', the band's first album after their short 2018-19 hiatus. The brainchild of band leader Jonas Renkse, this haunting album has to be not only one of their most experimental and sonically enticing outputs, but also one of the most finely produced and modern-sounding offerings from Katatonia's already broad catalogue. Each of the eleven songs on this excellent studio album contribute to the overall gripping darkness that encapsulates 'City Burials', also solidifying the impressions one might get from the starkly unsettling but absolutely gorgeous album art photography, which happens to be the work of the very talented Lasse Hoile, known for his work with Steven Wilson over the years.

Quite elegant in its sound, 'City Burials' impresses with the majestic use of the keyboards, the prevalent (and occasionally exotic) ambience and the unnerving electronic sensibility, all of these aspects contributing to the very gloomy but enticing audio treat that is unfolding before the listener. A drastic departure from the more stripped-down rock attitude of its predecessor, 2016's 'The Fall of Hearts', it seems like Katatonia have really taken their time to reflect upon what the band could do more in terms of songwriting, and how they could expand the scope of their music, making 'City Burials' a very bold move that signifies how truly progressive the Swedes still are.

Not a single poor composition here, each one of the forty-eight minutes of this record is wisely used, resulting in one of the most focused rock albums of the year. Opener 'Heart Set to Divide' is a very strong rocker that might serve as a link between the band's previous release and this new one, as it sets a grim tone for the rest of the album. 'Behind the Blood', on the other hand, impresses with the swiveling guitars and the almost-tribal drum sounds. The band follow this up with 'Lacquer', another phenomenal song, that almost has an art-pop edge, then comes 'Rein', one of the heavier songs on 'City Burials' and one of the strongest choruses, too. Just four songs in, and the album is already severely impressive - the atmosphere, the variety, the lyrics, and the songwriting, all on a very high level. Other highlights are certainly 'The Winter of Our Passing', 'Flicker' and 'Neon Epitaph', but as it was mentioned before, each song on this album is just too good.

'City Burials' is very innovative, very far-reaching and forward-thinking, very emotional and quite well-written, or in a word, excellent. It might a couple of years, or maybe even a decade or so, for this album to truly be appreciated for what it is, but Katatonia have certainly achieved something special here, as this should rank among their best works, as this beautiful dark record is highly recommended!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Katatonia don't really sound the same on any of their albums because they are always changing their ever-evolving sound to what they see fit. Bands who do this aren't doing it to annoy people, (although they might unintentionally annoy some individuals) they do it because they don't feel pressur ... (read more)

Report this review (#2494918) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Sunday, January 17, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Thankfully, Katatonia's hiatus announced in 2018 did not last very long. In Autumn 2019 the band let fans know they were back in the studio to record a new album. Fast forward to April 2020 and the new album, City Burials, is out. So, how is it? Certainly not an easy album to get into. The first tim ... (read more)

Report this review (#2435961) | Posted by lukretio | Saturday, August 8, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars KATATONIA is an epic black / doom band a bit death and gothic when they were born in 1991! 21st album with live performances, 11th studio album, 4 years after their last delivery, he has worked to get the THEATER OF TRAGEDY, MY DYING BRIDE, PARADISE LOST or ANATHEMA, RETROSPECTIVE even more rece ... (read more)

Report this review (#2431862) | Posted by alainPP | Friday, July 24, 2020 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The trend of extreme and progressive metal acts abandoning or taming their heavier impulses or more progressive ambitions for the sake of listenability is well established. When done tastefully, the progressive metal community is generally receptive. The spirit of prog, and even metal to an exte ... (read more)

Report this review (#2380896) | Posted by ssmarcus | Wednesday, May 13, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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