Company: Peaceville Release: 2009 Genre: Gothic death/doom Reviewer: Raising Iron
The perfect balance of beauty and misery
I've been wondering if anything was yet to be released in 2009 to rival the majesty and grace of Amorphis' Skyforger, and Katatonia have answered the question with an emphatic--YES! With Night Is the New Day, our fellow Swedes have entered a new phase of their career, creating a richly dark tapestry, weaving across dim skies with jaded indifference as to where the wind takes them.
Katatonia have been creating their shoegazing brand of despondent rock/metal for years now to great success: Viva Emptiness, Tonight's Decision, et al; the list goes on, not to mention their curious beginnings rooted in a gothic death/doom hybrid of sorts, but with their latest release, the band have struck the perfect balance of beauty and misery, a dichotomous proposition to be sure, and one that only a very few can truly construct with any measure of actualization. The band and its songs truly revolve around the enigmatic singer, for as always Jonas Renkse's haunting delivery never fails to captivate or enthrall.
On past releases, their songs have always contained a tinge of underlying hatred and anger toward the cruel lot life often deals; that angst simmering just beneath the surface, not flamboyant but quite perceptible; futilely struggling against the current of the world's travails. But on this release, it seems as if the band have given up fighting the depressive gloom that pervades every corner of their chosen milieu, instead, accepting the grim sorrow that fate as so harshly dealt, content to embrace the brooding shade that surrounds their every step, hence the more than appropriate album title. Things are written with a slightly more progressive feel than in the past, the melodies wandering, seemingly aimless, through loosely constructed corridors of doom, bumping the walls at every turn, yet arriving at their desired destination; the opulent production availing the listener of every creak and groan throughout the band's bleak dwelling.
What more can be said? With Night Is the New Day, Katatonia have unleashed an insidiously black ink into the soul of the world, forever staining it with unrelenting apathy, and leaving its indelible mark upon its cask.
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