Katatonia – ‘Dead End Kings’ 6/10
After 2009’s ‘Night is the New Day’ reaching high levels of cyber applause, Katatonia are back with album number eight and the evolution continues. Originating from the death metal birth town of Stockholm, Sweden, the band originally added to the population with their first two albums in the early nineties, however the raw vocals were soon scrapped in favour of Jonas Renske’s endearing clean singing full of emotion. Since then, Katatonia’s melancholic hard rock has continued to succeed in the metal scene thanks to chuggy riffs, dark themes and a discography worthy of head-banging, regardless of tempo. Slow and down toned by name and nature, ‘Dead End Kings’ takes it darker and deeper into the abyss with the band stepping up the orchestral areas to add to the epic journey of doom. Opener ‘The Parting’ is an instant ear-catcher; however the rest of the album is a bit of a slow burner. Consistent and pleasing, yes, but it will take a few listens for certain songs to jump out at you, as each song eases fluidly between one another. Nonetheless, the Swedes are certainly not at a dead end and it’ll be great to see this live in December.
Review by Lily Randall
To be published in the September issue of Devolution magazine