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Katatonia - Dead End Kings CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.01 | 97 ratings

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4 stars "Dead End Kings" is the 9th full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in August 2012. Since the release of "Night Is the New Day (2009)", there have been a few lineup changes as Fredrik Norrman (guitars) and Matthias Norrman (bass) have left the band. "Dead End Kings" was therefore recorded as a trio with Anders Nystrm handling bass, keyboards, guitars, programming and backing vocals, Jonas Renkse handling lead vocals, programming, guitars, keyboards and drums, and Daniel Liljekvist handling drums and percussion. The album also features a guest vocal performance by Silje Wergeland (The Gathering) on the track "The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here".

The music on the album pretty much continues where "Night Is the New Day (2009)" left off. Which means a dark, melancholic, and emotional type of rock/metal that has Katatonia written all over it. While Jonas Renkse possesses a relatively "regular" voice, the paatos filled/emotional delivery of his vocals has always been something special. Here is a man who bleeds melancholy and who is able to greatly impact the listener with his singing. You have to be in the mood for it though, as he sometimes borders the pathetic. The instrumental side of the music features a lot of dark/light effects and dynamics between heavy loud parts and mellower more quiet parts. As such nothing new when it comes to Katatonia. Its a sound they have fine tuned and developed upon since "Viva Emptiness (2003)". Keyboards/synths take a prominent role on some tracks and the music also features tight rhythms and both heavy chugging riffs and dynamic clean guitar work.

To my ears tracks like "The Parting", "The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here", "Hypnone", "Buildings", and "Dead Letters" are some of the highlights, but "Dead End Kings" is quality wise a consistent album. Its also very well produced, featuring a clear, detailed, and powerful sounding production, which suits the material perfectly. While "Dead End Kings" is undeniably yet another high quality release by Katatonia, I do feel its time that the band try something radically new. "Dead End Kings" is a great album but its also a very "safe" album, and Im missing a bit of an edge or maybe a more adventurous spirit to set the album apart from the last couple of albums by the band. Isolated seen "Dead End Kings" fully deserves a 4 star (80%) rating though.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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