Friday, August 17, 2012
Katatonia : Dead End Kings
Katatonia, I'm trying to make this work but maybe it time we had the it's not you it's me talk. We've had this relationship for almost ten years now, and I think I have grown in what I need from a metal band and I'm sure if it's fair for me to ask that from you.
This must be the case because I can't imagine you would be capable of writing songs that are boring, but then again I have a widening gap in my tastes and can't say I listen to much that's middle of the road.
"The Parting" isn't the wisest choice choice for an opener it goes in with a limp start but by the chorus sounds more familiar and the lyrics make the formulaic nature forgivable. I will say after my first listen I decided to switch to head phones as the guitar was sounding thin and that was a smart move on my part because the mix is rather delicate. Still after repeat listens the guitar mix on a Toad the Wet Sprocket album sounds thicker, why didn't you have the producer write down the eq levels you used on "Forsaker"?
The second song is a duet with Silje Wergeland from the Gathering, which is a misstep right there because if you are getting a Gathering singer it needs to be Anneke. The song it's self, well I had to listen to four times to make sure I heard right and it really went no where. Then as I try to force it down my ears with repetition, the more subtle elements of the melody grow on me but I'm never grabbed by in the way "viva Emptiness" grabbed me.
"Hypnone" drifts a little closer to classic Katatonia, or maybe I just want it to, the bass could stand to be up in the mix throughout but the bottom is most noticeably lacking in the gaps here. This album could have benefited from the same mix "Night is the new day " got.
"the Racing heart" shows more movement but in some ways comes across like an uber mellow version of " My Twin" which while it was a good song wasn't their heaviest. I do like how the music begins to leave the vocals almost acapella but too little to late.
"Buildings" is the first songs that attempts to come out of the gate with the rock, it goes into the now typical Katatonia verse pattern, some double bass flurries with a chance of rain.
By the time we get to " Leech" I understand the problem with the largely laid back turn of events this album presents. " Night is the new day" was mellow but was dark and melancholic enough to make up for it, this album is like the CW trying to convey the same sense of depression of David Cronenberg film .
Even though " Ambitions" reminds me of something from a Sting solo album at first I like from the first listen.
"Undo you" continues down the more Porcupine Tree road, while friend of mine lamented their is heavy A Perfect Circle winkage going on, I don't hear it as much but I do think they took the cue from Opeth that it's o.k not to play metal for an entire album and guess what that one didn't stay in my ipod either.
There is without a doubt to many string synth pad and dainty tinkling piano parts moping around the corner like a sniffling child. "Lethean" has potential to grow on me but becomes an example where the keys add an atmosphere that has lost it's effectiveness because it's been lurking around the edges of everything like shunned girlfriend and hasn't given the songs any room to breathe.
"First Prayer" I liked at first listen, the guitar does what it should have been throughout this album, going into different places but still having some balls to it and supporting Jonas. Speaking of Jonas, his vocals wander around in a listless manner which they do though don't carry the same hooks or conviction, always doubled and soaked in harmony layers, they don't feel as solemn which effects the mood and tone of the album as a whole.
the Tooly "Dead letters" which was released as the first internet single, is well written and gives me know issue allowing me to give the album a slightly higher score than when I started off into this album.
So i can conclude by saying to Katatonia, we might be able to work things out with some therapy, I'm giving this album a six, which is me being generous and rounding it up you have made tens in the past, sure it could grow on me maybe up into a seven at best. perhaps the line up changes have taken a toll on Jonas carrying the creative weight, this album dishes out lots of more of the same but songs like "Buildings" and " First Prayer" earn it a place in the ipod for now .