KATATONIA — Dead End Kings

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KATATONIA - Dead End Kings cover
3.97 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012

Tracklist

1. The Parting (04:52)
2. The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here (03:52)
3. Hypnone (04:07)
4. The Racing Hearts (04:06)
5. Buildings (03:28)
6. Leech (04:23)
7. Ambitions (05:07)
8. Undo You (04:56)
9. Lethean (04:39)
10. First Prayers (04:28)
11. Dead Letters (04:49)

Total time 48:47

Line-up/Musicians

- Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström / Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Programming, Vocals (backing)
- Jonas Renkse / Drums, Vocals (lead), Programming, Guitars, Keyboards
- Daniel Liljekvist / Drums, Percussion

Guest musicians:
- Silje Wergeland / Vocals (track 2)

About this release

Peaceville Records
August 27th, 2012
The deluxe edition has two bonus tracks.

The special deluxe book edition contains a 10” Book, 2 x 10” vinyl, CD (plus 2 extra tracks) & 5.1 disc.

Thanks to bartosso for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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KATATONIA DEAD END KINGS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Dead End Kings" is the 9th full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in August 2012. Since the release of "Night Is the New Day (2009)", there have been a few lineup changes as Fredrik Norrman (guitars) and Matthias Norrman (bass) have left the band. "Dead End Kings" was therefore recorded as a trio with Anders Nyström handling bass, keyboards, guitars, programming and backing vocals, Jonas Renkse handling lead vocals, programming, guitars, keyboards and drums, and Daniel Liljekvist handling drums and percussion. The album also features a guest vocal performance by Silje Wergeland (The Gathering) on the track "The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here".

The music on the album pretty much continues where "Night Is the New Day (2009)" left off. Which means a dark, melancholic, and emotional type of rock/metal that has Katatonia written all over it. While Jonas Renkse possesses a relatively "regular" voice, the paatos filled/emotional delivery of his vocals has always been something special. Here is a man who bleeds melancholy and who is able to greatly impact the listener with his singing. You have to be in the mood for it though, as he sometimes borders the pathetic. The instrumental side of the music features a lot of dark/light effects and dynamics between heavy loud parts and mellower more quiet parts. As such nothing new when it comes to Katatonia. It´s a sound they have fine tuned and developed upon since "Viva Emptiness (2003)". Keyboards/synths take a prominent role on some tracks and the music also features tight rhythms and both heavy chugging riffs and dynamic clean guitar work.

To my ears tracks like "The Parting", "The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here", "Hypnone", "Buildings", and "Dead Letters" are some of the highlights, but "Dead End Kings" is quality wise a consistent album. It´s also very well produced, featuring a clear, detailed, and powerful sounding production, which suits the material perfectly. While "Dead End Kings" is undeniably yet another high quality release by Katatonia, I do feel it´s time that the band try something radically new. "Dead End Kings" is a great album but it´s also a very "safe" album, and I´m missing a bit of an edge or maybe a more adventurous spirit to set the album apart from the last couple of albums by the band. Isolated seen "Dead End Kings" fully deserves a 4 star (80%) rating though.

Members reviews

Primeval Scum
This is a really solid effort by Katatonia. Definitely one of their better albums of this century and better than Night Is The New Day. Nothing groundbreaking, and not quite in the same league as Viva Emptiness or The Great Cold Distance yet, but it's been growing on me slowly.

With Dead End Kings, Katatonia continues their "melancholic rock" sound from previous albums. The vocals are enchanting, and the guitars, though featured less often than in previous albums, really make the most of it when they are. Songs like "Leathen" even include fabulous guitar solos, something of a rarity for Katatonia.

"The Parting" is a great opener, and probably the catchiest song on the album. "The One Your Are Looking For Is Not Here" is a simple, melodic song that has some really elegant accompanying female vocals a la Silje Wergeland. "Hypnone" is one of the best tracks on Dead End Kings, with its empassioned chorus... "I need the sound of the rain...". Beautiful lyrics. These first three tracks are the best on the album, in my opinion. Tracks 4 and 5. "The Racing Heart" (a light vocal-oriented song) and "Buildings" (one of the heaviest on the album) are also strong tracks. At this point, I was amazed and thought that this had the potential to perhaps trump Viva or TGCD.

However, tracks 6, 7 and 8 are all disappointingly lackluster. Katatonia succumbed the mid-album rut that so many bands seem to. These songs offer nothing new and simply recycle ideas already presented, and in less interesting ways. For, some reason, the song "Leech" still really annoys me. The piano melody seems childish and the chorus is one of the most bland Katatonia has ever produced (chug a chug).

The rut is snapped, however, with track 9 "Lethean". This song is full of awesome lyrics, swirling drums, and a wall of guitar sound. The first time I naturally began headbanging on this album. The guitar solo is a shining moment that should not be missed.

Overall, Dead End Kings is an album that grows on you with repeated listens and feautures several Grade-A Katatonia songs. For fans of the last few albums, this will not disappoint. Slight saminess and a few too many filler tracks prevent Dead End Kings from reaching the 4 range.

It's just more of the same of what Katatonia's been doing for awhile now: quality melancholic metal. They haven't evolved at all, but I'm just fine with that as long as they keep putting out albums like Dead End Kings.

Best Songs: The Parting The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here Hypnone Lethean

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