KATATONIA — Last Fair Deal Gone Down

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KATATONIA - Last Fair Deal Gone Down cover
4.36 | 28 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2001

Filed under Metal Related
By KATATONIA

Tracklist

1. Dispossession (5:36)
2. Chrome (5:14)
3. We Must Bury You (2:50)
4. Teargas (3:23)
5. I Transpire (5:56)
6. Tonight's Music (4:20)
7. Clean Today (4:23)
8. The Future of Speech (5:40)
9. Passing Bird (3:38)
10. Sweet Nurse (3:57)
11. Don't Tell a Soul (5:42)

Total Time: 50:44

Line-up/Musicians

Jonas Renkse - Vocals
Anders Nystrom - Guitar, Keyboards, Mellotron
Fred Norrman - Guitar
Mattias Norrman - Bass
Daniel Liljekvist - Drums

About this release

Recorded in various moments between April - November 2000 at Sunlight studio.
Produced,mixed & engineered by Tomas Skogsberg,Jocke Petterson & Katatonia.
Mastered & edited at Cutting room by Peter In De Betou.
Photography & design by Travis Smith @ Seempieces
Bandphoto by Harry Valimaki
Tracks 1,3,4,7 & 10 Music by Nystrom,lyrics by Renkse.
Tracks 2,5,8 & 11 Music by Nystrom/Norrman,lyrics by Renkse.
Tracks 6 & 9 Music by Nystrom/Renkse,lyrics by Renkse.
Released as four way fold out digipack in limited quantities with 3 bonus
tracks:

12. "Sulfur"
13. "March 4"
14. "Help Me Disappear"

Available on double gatefold 180g heavy weight vinyl with the same bonus tracks
as the CD reissue, limited to 1500 copies.

Thanks to Prog Geo, bonnek, adg211288 for the updates

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KATATONIA LAST FAIR DEAL GONE DOWN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish alternative/doom/progressive rock/metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in May 2001. It´s the successor to "Tonight´s Decision" from 1999 and features a couple of lineup changes as bassist Mattias Norrman and drummer Daniel Liljekvist have been added to the lineup. It was the first stable lineup in the band´s career, and it would last on four consequtive albums.

Stylistically "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" continues the alternative rock/metal style of "Tonight´s Decision (1999)", but with a stronger focus on variation between tracks and experimentation with song structures and compositional details. Listening to "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" it becomes clear that the two direct predecessors were transitional albums, and that this album is a more complete release. Not that Katatonia stopped progressing at this point, because that´s far from true (and in that respect this album can also be called a transitional album), but to my ears this is the first Katatonia album which sounds completely satisfying, and where I don´t have any complaints about sub par sound productions, underdeveloped drumming, or untrained/uncertain clean vocal performances. They hit magic here and maybe the last couple of albums should be viewed as training exercises to hone their songwriting and playing skills, to make them ready to write and record "Last Fair Deal Gone Down".

Katatonia already stripped most of their early death/doom elements on "Discouraged Ones (1998)", and although both that album and "Tonight´s Decision (1999)" are still fairly heavy albums, they are not the most metal oriented albums. Instead it´s artists like Tool and The Cure, or maybe more correctly a combination of heavy alternative rock/metal and dark new wave/alternative rock, which is a more valid description of the band´s music. That description is true for the material on "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" too. There is a lot of use of light/dark atmospheres and heavy and mellow sections, and Jonas Renkse´s melancholic lyrics and vocal performance aren´t far removed from the most dark and depressive Robert Smith (The Cure) moments (take a listen to "Tonight´s Music" and see if you disagree). Katatonia have audible influences but they still manage to create a personal and unique sound, and they are one of those rare artists who are instantly recognisable.

The conscious decision to write a varied album with strong individual tracks while still maintaining a strong tracklist flow and album coherence works here and each track stand out clearly. While all tracks are high quality material, I´d mention the four opening tracks ("Dispossession", "Chrome", "We Must Bury You", and "Teargas"), "Tonight´s Music", and "Sweet Nurse", as some of the highlights of the album. The performances are strong on all posts, and although it´s impossible not to mention Renkse´s soft voice, and heartfelt and melancholic delivery, the instrumental performances deserve just as much praise. There is a near perfect balance between heavy loud playing and mellow softer sections, and the transitions between the two types of sections work well. Add to those elements a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, and "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is through and through a high quality release. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

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