Katatonia – Sky Void Of Stars Review

To my amazement, I discovered that Katatonia was formed in 1991. I’ll be honest these guys have kind of passed me by so this is a real surprise. Having...

Gothic Metal

Napalm Records

Release Date – January 20th 2023

 

Line Up:

Jonas Renkse – Vocals

Anders Nystrom – Guitar

Roger Ojersson – Guitar

Niklas Sandin – Bass

Daniel Moilanen – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1 – Austerity

2 – Colossal State

3 – Opaline

4 – Birds

5 – Drab Moon

6 – Author

7 – Impermanence (featuring Joel Ekelof)

8 – Sclera

9 – Atrium

10 – No Beacon To Illuminate Our Fall

11 – Absconder (Bonus Track)

 

To my amazement, I discovered that Katatonia was formed in 1991. I’ll be honest these guys have kind of passed me by so this is a real surprise. Having briefly researched the band they seem to have jumped around the genres but still made critically acclaimed quality music. I can see why they do what they feel and make music for themselves. This particular release is the baby of singer Jonas Renkse having written all the music and lyrics.

‘Austerity’ gets straight to the point with a wonderful melancholic delivery from Renkse beside some darkly melodic riffery, then ‘Colossal Shade’ is simple and effective with an easy groove and some proggy bits before ‘Opaline’ brings things down a bit on another melancholic lament. ‘Birds’ is big and haunting with more energy and although dark is quite uplifting unlike the mournful ‘Drab Moon’. ‘Author’ is beautifully melodic with huge riffs swirling around and some masterful leads too. ‘Impermanence’ is pure sadness set to music with Renkse sharing his pain as the music ebbs and flows and he’s ably assisted by Joel Ekelof of Soen. ‘Sclera’ is a kind of modern dark rock with swirling synths and an odd time signature full of atmosphere ‘Atrium’ ups the pace a bit before ‘No Beacon To Illuminate Our Fall’ brings the sadness back but stays with it because it gets angry in places. ‘Absconder’ closes the record with another awkward rhythm and dark melody.

No, usually my bag but Katatonia has created something special here. There are all sorts here, big riffs, beautifully haunting melodies, explosive passages, and gentle breakdowns creating atmosphere and feeling. This is a band at the top of their game doing what they want to do and not bowing to anybody’s will. I can’t say it’s their masterpiece because I don’t know enough about them but it must be close.

 

Score: 9/10

Reviewed by: Smudge

 

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Photo Credit: Myglobalmind

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