VurderingKatatonia – City Burials: 5/6
Katatonia keeps evolving, 30 years into their career. «City Burials» was released on the 24th of April through Peaceville Records.
Tekst: Levent Ozoren and Sadan Ekdemir
There are few bands who manages to change and evolve throughout their career while also keeping their originality and ability to capture the listener’s feeling at all times. Katatonia is such a band. 2020 marks their 30th year, which is a testament to their perserverance in a music business with many ups and downs.
A short introduction..
When you take a look at the discography of Katatonia, you’ll see drastic changes in their musical styles. The flow of emotion touching the listeners’ hearts have gotten increasingly beautiful over the years. The first major change was the musical shift from Brave Murder Day to Discouraged ones in 1998, a transition that landmarks the Swedish band’s rise to recognition.
The band yet again managed to surprise all the fans and changed their musical direction into even more progressive/aggressive territory.
2016 marked a new chapter in Katatonia’s history with The Fall of the Hearts. The band yet again managed to surprise all the fans and changed their musical direction into even more progressive/aggressive territory, with a level of craftsmanship exceeding all of their previous efforts.
Ambitious and atmospheric
Fast forward to 2019, and things aren’t looking very bright for Katatonia. As the band went into hiatus, fans were worried that this would be the end of the road. Fortunately, in early 2020 Katatonia blew up the news and put out the first track from their new album City Burials, «Lacquer».
This album starts off in a style similar to where the last album left off.
This album starts off in a style similar to where the last album left off. The first two songs are an establishment of Katatonia’s main intentions; aggressive, technical and progressive, yet also filled with good references to their earlier albums, whose distinct footprints clearly states: «We are Katatonia».
Directions and connections
Album opener «Heart set to divide» bears so much resemblence to «The Parting and Ambitions» from 2012’s Dead End Kings that it feels like an updated version. The second and third songs are the first two singles, «Behind the Blood» and mellow atmospheric first single «Lacquer». «Behind the Blood» includes a brilliant shredding solo from Roger Öjersson (Ex- Tiamat), but fails in terms of bringing a clear song structure and connections between bridges and verses.
Katatonia stabs us in the heart and twists the dagger with the perfect closure track “Untrodden”.
After the first 3 songs, we are moving to the brilliant trio; «Rein», «The Winter of Our Passing» (third single) and the majestic «Vanishers», the latter which includes guest vocalist Anni Bernhard (Full of Keys). On the second part of the album, the songs «City Glaciers», «Flicker» and «Neon Epitaph» sets the stage for the final showdown. Katatonia stabs us in the heart and twists the dagger with the perfect closure track “Untrodden”. This song shares attributes with «Rusted» (from TGCD) and «Lethean» (from Dead End Kings), and interludes them with a beautiful solo from Roger Öjersson.
Heart-shattering bonus tracks
This is an album that needs and deserves multiple listens because it has so many layers.
As for final words: Another beautiful effort from the band, despite all the changes. While there are some disconnection between the bridges, that Katatonia vibe is still there. This is an album that needs and deserves multiple listens because it has so many layers. Don’t worry, it will be time well spent.