KATATONIA — Dethroned & Uncrowned

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KATATONIA - Dethroned & Uncrowned cover
3.88 | 13 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2013

Filed under Non-Metal


1. The Parting (4:51)
2. The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here (3:58)
3. Hypnone (4:12)
4. The Racing Heart (3:25)
5. Buildings (3:23)
6. Leech (4:17)
7. Ambitions (4:30)
8. Undo You (4:52)
9. Lethean (4:05)
10. First Prayer (4:18)
11. Dead Letters (4:15)

Total Time 46:06


- Jonas Renkse / vocals
- Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström / guitar, backing vocals
- Daniel Liljekvist / drums, percussion
- Per "Sodomizer" Eriksson / lead and rhythm guitars
- Niklas "Nille" Sandin / bass

About this release

Label: Kscope
Release Date: September 9th, 2013

Features acoustic versions of songs from their "Dead End Kings" album.

Available on double LP, download and as 2 disc (CD and DVD-AV) digibook set, which also features a 5.1 surround mix of the album.

Thanks to Stooge for the addition and UMUR, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Dethroned & Uncrowned" is the 10th full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Katatonia. The album is the first Katatonia release to be released through Kscope instead of Peaceville Records, which is the label that has released all their preceeding releases. "Dethroned & Uncrowned" was released in September 2013.

The album is not as such a new studio release with original material but rather a semi-acoustic version of their last studio album "Dead End Kings (2012)". The two albums feature the exact same tracklist. While the basic vocal melodies and track structures are the same, the arrangements of the tracks are very different on the two albums. Almost all distorted guitars and heavy drumming are removed from "Dethroned & Uncrowned" and instead acoustic guitars and soft orchestral backdrops are the order of the day. Apparently this is how the band initially imagined "Dead End Kings (2012)", but they changed their mind along the way.

The more subtle and mellow arrangements of the tracks work well for the most part. Tracks like "The Parting", "The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here" (which features Silje Wergeland from The Gathering on guest vocals), "Hypnone", "Buildings", and "Ambitions" are some of the tracks where the new arrangements work pretty well, but there are some of the other tracks, which didn´t stand out on "Dead End Kings (2012)" either, that don´t work as well. Not because of the arrangements but it simply becomes even more apparent in these more stripped down arrangements, that the vocal melodies just aren´t that memorable on those tracks. It´s a bit more disguised in the more busy and heavy arrangements on "Dead End Kings (2012)", but here the naked truth is revealed.

The melancholic and paatos filled vocals by Jonas Renkse are as always one of the highlights when listening to a Katatonia release but the new arrangements of the tracks genereally work well too. In that respect Katatonia pull it off with great skill and conviction. The album features an organic and well sounding production and "Dethroned & Uncrowned" is overall a very pleasant, atmospheric, and melancholic release by Katatonia. As an experiment it works well, but I could have wished they would have chosen to write a whole new set of songs and arrange them in this way instead of re-arranging existing tracks. A project like that would probably have been slightly more interesting. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.
Katatonia in many ways have been the darker half of what Anathema have been doing in the past few years. Also, it isn't too hard to make a connection between these 2 bands. Both originally starting out as death/doom metal bands, over the years they have adopted there own sounds and have experimented a lot in their long careers. While I believe Anathema has definitely found their sound these past few years and have received a lot of praise over there challenging new musical adventures, Katatonia have also been doing a similar method, but have definitely kept there foot more in the metal world while Anathema has crossed over to the prog world.

But, over the past few years, having listened to stuff off there previous releases, I have noticed some slight differences to their sound, with the metal tone been toned down just a tad. And in fact, the band have even admitted that they have now become slightly tired of their metal sound. In fact, the last album “Dead End Kings” was supposed to originally have been this album with all arrangements in tact.

Musically the album strips the songs down to their basics, with very limited percussion and more highlights on acoustic guitars, keyboards and string sections. Comparing them to the originals, you can notice a slight difference. But, the slight negative is that these songs where originally metal songs, so some of the musical moments don't translate too well to a more softer feeling. At times it's pulled off very well, but I would love to hear new material made with this sound, rather than having the last album done acoustically.

The opener “The Parting” kicks the album off with some amazing vocal harmonies from Jonas. Great start to the album.

“The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here” is one of the most interesting tracks on the album. With guest vocals from Silje Wergeland from The Gathering, the mixture of female and male vocals bodes well to the song.

My personal favourite track on the album has to be “The Racing Heart.” The arrangement on this song is beautiful, with some very light instrumentation and the odd pacing and movements of the vocal melodies. Some very nice vivid lyrics throughout and definitely the catchiest song on the album.

The most eclectic track on the album would have to be “Buildings.” With some rather jazzy riffs and instrumentation, it goes well with the dark moods of the song.

“Undo You” is probably one of the more darker tracks on the album. With some rather dark chord progressions and rather chilling vocal lines, it definitely is the pinnacle of darkness on the album.

“Lethean” is probably one of the more brightest songs, with the drums actually being heard on the song. It's still rather depressing, but not as depressing as the rest of the songs on the album.

In conclusion, this album is a mixed bag for me. I think having listened to his has really made me discover why I like Katatonia so much, and its because the great mix of beauty and darkness in their music. Jonas' beautiful crooning mixed with the heaviness and power of the guitars works very well. This album was pulled off very well and the sounds created are pretty great, but I would have liked to have heard material written for this sound, rather than arrangements of the last album.


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