October 1, 2008

Katatonia - Viva Emptiness

Band/artist - Katatonia
Genre(s) - Dark modern hard rock
Origin - Sweden
Album - Viva Emptiness
Year of release - 2003

Katatonia started out as a quite influential death-doom band with their widely praised album Dance of December Souls. A couple of albums later, their music can hardly still be described as metal.
However, Viva Emptiness is as dark as many a doom metal album, and not even significantly less heavy. You could call it the spirit of doom captured in a rock song structure. This rock sound of theirs is crunchy, modern and exceptionally well-polished, leaving plenty of room for melodic details. The distorted guitars are quite heavy but cleaner guitars and background keyboards add a delicacy that greatly enhances the mood of the album, which is rather tense and anxious. The singer, Jonas Renske, brings this very well, in his vocals lies a great part of the album's emotional power. What makes this album special to me is the outstanding songwritership behind it - on no other release have Katatonia written compositions that are so refined and individually rewarding as on this one. So if I point out a Criminals, a Walking by a Wire or an Omerta that's because of their impact on me, not because they're that much better than the rest.
  1. Ghost of the sun
  2. Sleeper
  3. Criminals
  4. A premonition
  5. Will I arrive?
  6. Burn the remembrance
  7. Wealth
  8. One year from now
  9. Walking by a wire
  10. Complicity
  11. Evidence
  12. Omerta
  13. Inside the city of glass
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