KATATONIA - Dead End Kings

Dead End Kings FORMAT: CD
REALEASE DATE: 27.08.2012
RECORD COMPANY: Peaceville Records
USERS RATING: 23 votes

Top 2012: #6
Katatonia more
Niklas Sandin - bas
Per Eriksson - chitara
Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström - bas, clape, chitara, voce
Jonas Renkse - tobe, voce, chitara, clape
Daniel Liljekvist - tobe, percutie

01. The Parting02. The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here03. Hypnone04. The Racing Heart05. Buildings06. Leech07. Ambitions08. Undo You09. Lethean10. First Prayer11. Dead Letters

Starting with the album Tonight’s Decision in 1999, Katatonia took a rather drastic turn from the melodic/depressive funeral death doom they had played since 1991, in that they gave up the “death” element or any sort of growling. They discovered the secret that you can induce sadness with a warm and normal voice, too. And with each album they have released since 1999, Katatonia have managed to flesh out their own instantly recognizable sound. Of course, it didn’t take them too long to do that, as the band started to offer the same (excellent quality!) sound with not much difference in style; since 2003, Katatonia seem to have been releasing just one album with several episodes, becoming a brand for musical sadness. “Weep to This Ltd.” for anyone who has their veins and a sharp implement at hand. 


Dead End Kings is not too different, is just this year’s episode from the Swedes. If you want sadness, look no further. While I write this review, I can hardly see the keys through the tears! Impeccable sound due to production by the pair Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström (the front man, and guitarist of the band), the pair who was in charge with production on the previous albums, too. Same as on their previous record, synths, violins and cellos stand out, but one detail I find myself paying more and more attention to is the drum part, 80% holding the rhythm, and 20% playing with rhythms and signatures (for instance the controlled instability in the beginning of Hypnone) while not stealing the show. All parts are chosen with a lot of taste and it is obvious that the musicians could do more (there’s a guitar solo on Lethean) but they choose this minimalistic approach to give us what’s needed for the music, nothing more! 


If you are familiar with musical theory, the Dorian mode is used virtually in all songs. The sadness and weight that overcome the ears and, well, the soul, invite us to a sonic journey that could mean more than just listening to an album. Katatonia know your weak points and will abuse them to give you the perfect soundtrack for a tragic and romantic winter. 


I cannot list any highlights, because the entire album is like a big song; as you listen to it, time and time again, you will sink further into the oppressive atmosphere into which Katatonia have been trying to draw and capture you for years (meaning you’ll buy all their albums!). Overall, this is an album that is not overly original compared to the rest, but it doesn’t need to, because Katatonia have their own original style that anyone can recognize as soon as they hear a few notes, if they are familiar with the band since 1999. So, we know how to expect from a new Katatonia album: absolutely superb, sad music, fragile in feelings but backbreakingly heavy …the perfect mix to bring forth dark thoughts, all the regrets, and then the strength and motivation to move on. At least until the next album comes out!

Matei T. more Nota: 8.5

Posted at 23:51 |  28 Mai 2012  | 2 Comments  | 6229 Views

Comment on: Dead End Kings

  • dead letters suna grozav, la fel ca si albumul, sper!

    1. Posted by dolphy78 | 30 Iulie 2012 21:45
  • din ce in ce mai prost

    2. Posted by Geralt de Rivia | 05 Septembrie 2012 12:43

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