Unbelievably for a band that formed back in 1991, this is my first venture into a Katatonia album, I know right! Bloody disgrace! Every time I hear Katatonia I think of that god awful band with the Welsh bird on vocals, but today I am popping my Katatonia cherry with their latest offering City Burials.
The album kicks off with ‘Heart Set To Divide’ which creeps in with a mellow and unassuming vocal that eases you in before the sublime crushing backbone arrives with thrashing guitars and intricate guitar, bass and drum patterns thrust you right into the very essence of what this band is all about. ‘Behind The Blood’ immediately grabs your attention with blistering solo work and a gnarly riff before settling down into a highly addictive melodic and heavy-hitting number. ‘Lacquer’ is a more solemn, melancholy and emotive number that slows the pace down nicely allowing listeners to catch their breath in between the monstrous riffage that Katatonia are so well known for. Surprising their legions of admirers by taking an unexpected break, following the conclusion of their 2016 haunting The Fall Of Hearts album tour cycle. Joyously, 2020 brings the news that they are not only back, but newly armed with arguably their finest album to date, the enormously vivid and powerful City Burials.
The album ebb’s and flows as it takes you through this intense musical journey, beautiful production allows the gargantuan interwoven and highly intricate musicianship that bellows from your speakers. You get a variety of influences and genres tossed at you through the beautifully written melodies, challenging what you think you know of Katatonia or of what box you try and fit such a band into. Instead, simply let the music do the talking and let it wash over you like the highly impressive and delicately poised recording that it is. Some twenty-nine years in the making, the evolution of Katatonia in itself is impressive, but none more so than their ability to communicate their creativity through albums such as this.
A beautiful recording from start to finish City Burials delivers from the off.
“In days and nights of black and silver, the dead-end king will come. From pieces of broken mirrors, there will be a crown bestowed upon his head. In reflections of shattered glass not only the seasons will turn, but also the change disguised by the lapse of time. His mind will have to come to bear the weight of everything that was left behind and forgotten. Archiving the inaccessible. Celebrating the abandoned and mourning the destroyed. The city burials.” Anders Nyström
Artwork appears courtesy of Lasse Hoile, the image itself representing the ongoing era of the Dead End King.
City Burials Tracklisting
1 Heart Set To Divide [05:29]
2 Behind The Blood [04:37]
3 Lacquer [04:42]
4 Rein [04:21]
5 The Winter Of Our Passing [03:18]
6 Vanishers [04:56]
7 City Glaciers [05:30]
8 Flicker [04:45]
9 Lachesis [01:54]
10 Neon Epitaph [04:32]
11 Untrodden [04:29]
Bonus Tracks available on various formats
12 Closing Of The Sky [05:26]
13 Fighters [03:37]
City Burials will be released on CD, deluxe media book CD with bonus tracks, black and colored vinyl LPs with bonus track and digitally.
LIVE Zombie Apocolypse Permitting:
Katatonia will be appearing at various festivals in 2020 with details of headline tours coming soon.
May 16 – Austria – Vienna Metal Meeting 2020 (https://www.viennametalmeeting.com/?lang=en)
Jun 10 -11 – Poland – Mystic Festival, Krakow (https://www.mysticfestival.pl/en)
Jun 13 -14 – Romania, Bucharest, Maximum Rock Festival (https://www.facebook.com/Maximum-Rock-Festival-132903160204572/)
July 16-18 – Finland, John Smith Festival, Peurunka, Laukkaa (https://johnsmith.fi/esiintyjat/)
Aug 5-8 – CZ – Brutal Assault Festival, Fortress Josefov (https://brutalassault.cz/en)
Aug -5-8 – DE – Party San (https://www.party-san.de/en/bands-2020)
Aug 7-9 – BE, Alcatraz Festival, Kortrijk (https://www.alcatraz.be/en/index)
Aug 14-16 – US, Las Vegas – Psycho Fest (https://www.vivapsycho.com/)
Jonas Renkse – vocals
Anders Nyström – guitar
Niklas Sandin – bass
Daniel Moilanen – drums
Roger Öjersson – guitar
Photo credit: Ester Segarra