KATATONIA

Alternative Metal / Death-Doom Metal / Metal Related / Non-Metal / Gothic Metal / Doom Metal / Black Metal • Sweden
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Katatonia formed in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden and was brought together by long time friends, Anders Nyström (aka Blakkheim) and Jonas Renkse (aka Lord Seth). After more than a year of rehearsals and composing, the first real fruits of their labour came to light in mid 1992 with the release of the demo ‘Jhva Elohim Meth’, recorded at Sweden’s Gorysound Studio and produced by the multi-musician Dan Swanö. The demo sold out immediately, bringing Katatonia to the attention of Dutch label Vic Records, who went on to re-release the demo as a mini CD, titled ‘Jhva Elohim Meth – the Revival’. With the CD selling out fast and their reputation spreading like a wildfire through the underground, the duo knew they would need a fuller line-up to move the band up and forward. So, bassist Guillaume Le Huche (aka Israphel Wing) was enlisted to their ranks, enabling them to perform read more...
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Viva Emptiness ( 10th Anniversary Edition + Bonus Track )Viva Emptiness ( 10th Anniversary Edition + Bonus Track )
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Night is the New DayNight is the New Day
Extra tracks · Special Edition
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Dead End KingsDead End Kings
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Sanctitude [Blu-ray]Sanctitude [Blu-ray]
KSCOPE 2017
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The Fall Of HeartsThe Fall Of Hearts
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Brave Murder Day ( Lp )Brave Murder Day ( Lp )
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Tonights Decision [Vinyl]Tonights Decision [Vinyl]
Peaceville 2008
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Last Fair Deal Gone Down [Vinyl]Last Fair Deal Gone Down [Vinyl]
Extra tracks
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The Great Cold DistanceThe Great Cold Distance
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Last Fair Deal Gone Night ( 2cd & Dvd Set )Last Fair Deal Gone Night ( 2cd & Dvd Set )
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KATATONIA Discography

KATATONIA albums / top albums

KATATONIA Dance of December Souls album cover 3.97 | 26 ratings
Dance of December Souls
Death-Doom Metal 1993
KATATONIA Brave Murder Day album cover 4.09 | 32 ratings
Brave Murder Day
Death-Doom Metal 1996
KATATONIA Discouraged Ones album cover 3.79 | 23 ratings
Discouraged Ones
Gothic Metal 1998
KATATONIA Tonight's Decision album cover 3.62 | 23 ratings
Tonight's Decision
Metal Related 1999
KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down album cover 4.35 | 26 ratings
Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Metal Related 2001
KATATONIA Viva Emptiness album cover 4.12 | 32 ratings
Viva Emptiness
Alternative Metal 2003
KATATONIA The Great Cold Distance album cover 4.02 | 42 ratings
The Great Cold Distance
Alternative Metal 2006
KATATONIA Night Is the New Day album cover 3.61 | 29 ratings
Night Is the New Day
Alternative Metal 2009
KATATONIA Dead End Kings album cover 3.95 | 22 ratings
Dead End Kings
Alternative Metal 2012
KATATONIA Dethroned & Uncrowned album cover 3.85 | 13 ratings
Dethroned & Uncrowned
Non-Metal 2013
KATATONIA The Fall Of Hearts album cover 4.28 | 18 ratings
The Fall Of Hearts
Alternative Metal 2016

KATATONIA EPs & splits

KATATONIA For Funerals to Come album cover 3.43 | 6 ratings
For Funerals to Come
Death-Doom Metal 1995
KATATONIA Primordial / Katatonia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Primordial / Katatonia
Death-Doom Metal 1996
KATATONIA Katatonia / Hades album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Katatonia / Hades
Death-Doom Metal 1996
KATATONIA Sounds of Decay album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
Sounds of Decay
Death-Doom Metal 1997
KATATONIA Saw You Drown album cover 3.15 | 6 ratings
Saw You Drown
Metal Related 1998
KATATONIA Teargas EP album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Teargas EP
Doom Metal 2001
KATATONIA Tonight's Music album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Tonight's Music
Metal Related 2001
KATATONIA The Longest Year album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
The Longest Year
Alternative Metal 2010

KATATONIA live albums

KATATONIA Live Consternation album cover 3.21 | 6 ratings
Live Consternation
Alternative Metal 2007
KATATONIA Last Fair Day Gone Night album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Last Fair Day Gone Night
Alternative Metal 2013
KATATONIA Sanctitude album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Sanctitude
Non-Metal 2015

KATATONIA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

KATATONIA Rehearsal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal
Black Metal 1991
KATATONIA Jhva Elohim Meth... the Revival album cover 3.12 | 4 ratings
Jhva Elohim Meth... the Revival
Death-Doom Metal 1992
KATATONIA Rehearsal 92 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal 92
Death-Doom Metal 1992

KATATONIA re-issues & compilations

KATATONIA Brave Yester Days album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Brave Yester Days
Death-Doom Metal 2004
KATATONIA The Black Sessions album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
The Black Sessions
Metal Related 2005
KATATONIA Introducing Katatonia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Introducing Katatonia
Alternative Metal 2013
KATATONIA Kocytean album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Kocytean
Alternative Metal 2014

KATATONIA singles (7)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Ghost of the Sun
Alternative Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
My Twin
Alternative Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Deliberation
Alternative Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
July
Alternative Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Day and Then the Shade
Alternative Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Buildings
Alternative Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lethean
Alternative Metal 2012

KATATONIA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

KATATONIA Reviews

KATATONIA Tonight's Decision

Album · 1999 · Metal Related
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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.

KATATONIA Discouraged Ones

Album · 1998 · Gothic Metal
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UMUR
"Discouraged Ones" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish alternative/doom/progressive metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Avantgarde Music in April 1998. It´s the successor to "Brave Murder Day" from 1996. There´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Micke Oretoft has joined the lineup.

Katatonia are known to shift gears and change style between albums, but the change in musical style from "Brave Murder Day (1996)" to "Discouraged Ones" is the most radical stylistic change between releases in the band´s discography. While "Brave Murder Day (1996)" was obviously a move away from the blackened death/doom of "Dance of December Souls (1993)", and featured a track like "Day, which solely featured clean vocals, it´s still predominantly a death/doom metal release. "Discouraged Ones" features nothing even remotely connected to death metal. The music is still dark, melancholic, and at times relatively heavy, but it´s not really doom metal either. Instead a sedated shoegaze influence has sneaked in and also a couple of goth rock elements. Jonas Renkse has now fully taken over the lead vocal duties in addition to his drumming role, and all vocals on the album are clean. So no growling vocals on this one.

Once you´ve listened to the opening track "I Break", you pretty much know what you´re in for on the rest of the album. In that respect "Discouraged Ones" is a slightly formulaic and one-dimensional affair. It´s not a major issue though, as Katatonia do what they do very well, and as a listener you´re immediately sucked into a world of dark depression and deep melancholia that´s quite engaging. Renkse has a heartfelt and honest emotional delivery and paired with the heavy riffs and overall bleak atmosphere of the instrumental part of the music, "Discouraged Ones" comes off as a pretty convincing release.

The musicianship is decent, although Renkse won´t win any prizes for hitting the notes clean and his drumming is also almost painfully simple at times, but the sometimes rough and unpolished delivery is actually what makes "Discouraged Ones" such an interesting release. Renkse´s restrained and almost shy vocal approach makes him sound so sad and alone in the world, that the deep melancholy of the music sounds frightingly authentic. He is wearing his feelings on the outside here, and we as listeners are invited to share his pain. To some that may sound a bit pretentious, and Renkse voice and vocal style is probably an aquired taste, but he is defining for Katatonia´s sound.

"Discouraged Ones" features a heavy and dark sound production, which suits the gloomy music well. So upon conclusion it´s a good quality release by Katatonia. It´s of course a fanbase divider as a consequence of the radical change in style since "Brave Murder Day (1996)", but to my ears it´s a bold move from the band. "Discouraged Ones" is clearly not an album featuring a fully developed sound, and in that respect it´s the definition of a transition album, but sometimes the journey is more interesting than the end destination, and while that analogy isn´t completely true when speaking of Katatonia´s discography (which features several great albums further down the line), it´s still true to the extent that "Discouraged Ones" works well as an album in its own right. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

KATATONIA The Fall Of Hearts

Album · 2016 · Alternative Metal
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Necrotica
A common thread you wind up finding in every Katatonia album is that every one of them exhibits a different kind of melancholy. Each expression of that one emotion changes with each stylistic shift or altered lyrical approach, but either way, the melancholy still returns in some way. Perhaps it comes in the form of desperate wails and screams over crushing doom-laden riffs (Dance of December Souls). Maybe it can be found in gritty imagery involving the ills of crime and street life (Viva Emptiness). Alternately, the looming darkness of orchestral strings and mellotrons could seal the deal (Dead End Kings). But when it comes to The Fall of Hearts, the dreary atmosphere is expressed somewhat… differently. It might come down to a lack of metal influences this time around, but there’s an unusually surreal and dreamlike touch to the music. The songs are sad, yes, but also given a sort of levity and weightlessness by the shimmering clean guitars and light piano melodies that coil around the increasingly progressive rhythms. Jonas Renkse has channeled his sorrows through more passionate vocal passages (just listen to the chorus of “Last Song Before the Fade”!) while the music surrounding him has become more abstract compared to past efforts.

Really, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s not like this progressive influence is just out of the blue; the last few records, especially Dead End Kings, were already hinting at this bold new direction. But I suppose the fascinating thing about The Fall of Hearts is just how well they pulled off those influences. Instead of the crunchy, churning alternative metal riffs that dominated a good chunk of the band’s career, there’s now more respect and care given to the atmosphere than ever before. If you ever hear a downtuned metal riff (“Takeover,” “Passer,” “Serac,” and “Last Song Before the Fade” still bring the heaviness to a degree), you can be sure that a beautiful slow passage will be just around the corner to counteract the aggression. “Serac,” for instance, brings a fresh melding of progressive metal and soft rock that’s not too dissimilar to Opeth’s best works from the early 2000s (minus the growls, of course). Then you have “Passer,” which kicks off with a shredding guitar solo over a rapid-fire galloping snare rhythm before it almost immediately dies down to give us one of the most emotionally potent verses the band have ever concocted. It’s not that the band have lost their edge, but that they simply reserved it for the best moments this time around. And really, a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that Katatonia didn’t really subscribe to a set songwriting formula this time around. The arrangements are quite labyrinthine and unpredictable compared to what we’re used to from these guys, and the opening 7-minute track “Takeover” is an immediate example of this. This mini-epic takes you in so many directions in such little time, from a beautiful dreamlike intro/refrain to a rousing metal section to a deeply orchestral chorus to a stunning piano break. Add to that a killer guitar solo from newcomer Roger Ojersson on top of that, and you’ve got one of the best openers in recent memory.

In fact, let’s talk about those newcomers for a second. Guitarist Roger Ojersson and drummer Daniel Moilanen were a huge asset to the sound The Fall of Hearts would ultimately adopt and cultivate, as their technical proficiency allowed the band to work outside of their typical framework a bit more. The solos in “Takeover,” “Passer,” and especially the harmonized portion of “Serac” are incredible ways to build on songwriting that already takes pride in taking listeners on a real journey. Meanwhile, Daniel absolutely kills on the drumkit. His grasp of varying time signatures and subtle dynamics is just impeccable, and he can shift styles with ease to fit each mood perfectly. As for the songwriting, however, you may notice in the credits that it’s all Jonas Renkse and Anders Nystrom as usual. Maybe that’s the most fascinating thing about The Fall of Hearts, really. Just the fact that these two had it in them to make this record all along, but they simply needed the right circumstances and band members to make it happen. If you want a good marker of just how much they’ve evolved as songwriters, just take into account the fact that “Pale Flag” and “Shifts” are minimalist folk rock ballads with almost none of the band’s typical sonic trademarks present, and yet they’re not out of place in the slightest. But then again, nothing on The Fall of Hearts is out of place; it’s just the sound of a fully-evolved, fully-realized Katatonia that was always trying to break free from the mire of comfortable familiarity.

KATATONIA Brave Murder Day

Album · 1996 · Death-Doom Metal
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Warthur
Another decent death-doom release from Katatonia, Brave Murder Day is notably mostly for the extended suite formed by the title triptych of Brave, Murder, and Day; beyond that, it's more competent and entertaining death-doom material, and whilst I'm not so hot on the direction they took after this, it was probably the right call to shift direction at this point. The material here is not quite as fresh as the debut, and there's a sense towards the end of the album that Katatonia have done more or less all they can do in this particular vein and needed to look to new musical horizons if they were to find new inspiration.

KATATONIA For Funerals to Come

EP · 1995 · Death-Doom Metal
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Warthur
This is an EP that Katatonia put out to tide over their fans who were eagerly awaiting the followup to their debut, Dance of December Souls. It isn't quite as interesting as the material on that album - it's a clutch of competently done death-doom pieces that don't quite have the gravitas of the December Souls material - so putting this out as an EP was probably the right call. Dan Swanö of Edge of Sanity guests once again, though he only provides the engineering rather than making the sort of keyboard contributions which he spiced up December Souls with. On the whole fun, but not one I would give top priority to.

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Necrotica wrote:
1 year ago
Just switched The Fall of Hearts to progressive metal. There have been countless sources online that have labeled it as a prog record, and I'm inclined to agree. Many of the alternative elements were stripped away in favor of more technical, intricate passages, so I'm keeping the album at prog metal as of now.
Prog Geo wrote:
more than 2 years ago
One of the greatest sad bands!

Pelata wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Katatonia are one of my favorite bands! Beginning with 'Discouraged Ones', the band never fails to put out dark, melodic and engaging Metal!

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