KATATONIA — Tonight's Decision (review)

KATATONIA — Tonight's Decision album cover Album · 1999 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
"Tonight´s Decision" is the 4th full-length studio album by Swedish alternative/doom/progressive metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in August 1999. It´s the successor to "Discouraged Ones" from 1998 and there´s been a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor. Bassist Micke Oretoft has left (after a short stint with the band) and hasn´t been replaced, so guitarist Fredrik Norrman handles the bass on the album in addition to playing guitar. Lead vocalist Jonas Renkse has decided to solely focus on singing and therefore the drums are played by session musician Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Bloodbath...etc.).

Stylistically the material on "Tonight´s Decision" continue the sad/melancholic and heavy doom laden metal style of "Discouraged Ones (1998)", although an alternative rock edge has sneaked in. The album opens with the extremely depressive "For My Demons", with Renkse, singing out his soul on the chorus, with the lyric line: "You would never sleep at night, if you knew what I've been through". The man literally sounds like he is crying while he is singing and his vocal delivery is pretty surely an aquired taste. Some will find it weak and pathetic, while others will fully embrace the deeply emotional and melancholic performance. I´ve heard both opinions expressed. Personally I respect Renkse and his voice and singing style, but on this particular album he sometimes takes his approach a bit too far towards the pathetic.

"Tonight´s Decision" is otherwise a good quality release by Katatonia, featuring high level musicianship, a well sounding production, and decent songwriting. The latter could have been much more memorable though, and there are generally a few too many tracks on the album, which don´t stand out much. Highlights include "For My Demons", "Right Into the Bliss", and the Jeff Buckley cover "Nightmares by the Sea". Upon conclusion "Tonight´s Decision" is an album featuring both great moments and less appealing ones. To my ears it´s among the band´s least interesting releases but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.
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