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KATATONIA - Dead End Kings Limited.Deluxe.Edition DVD-Audio
Katatonia es una banda sueca formada en 1991. Sus comienzos están ligados al género Death y Doom. Pero al igual que otras bandas que comenzaron en este estilo de música como Anathema o Paradise Lost, han evolucionado en los últimos años hacia otro estilo de música, en el caso de Katatonia hacia algo más Ambient o Dark Progresivo.
Éste es el DVD-Audio incluído en algunas ediciones con la música remezclada a envolvente 5.1 y estéreo en audio de alta calidad.
Dead End Kings es es su noveno álbum y en él nos encontramos con unos Katatonia más románticos y/o melancólicos, menos punzantes y en un estado de gracia, tanto a nivel instrumental como compositivo, fuera de duda.
No han perdido ese pellizco heavy pero han acrecentado esa faceta progresiva que ya conocíamos: ‘Buildings’ o ‘Lethean’ son claros ejemplos de esto, aunque de todos modos los fans de Katatonia reconoceran el titánico esfuerzo que han hecho en Dead End Kings, cuyo título se menciona en la letra de ‘Hypnone’.
No hay estridencias, ni salidas de tono en el álbum. Se trata de un trabajo de múltiples facetas. No le sacamos todo el jugo hasta varias escuchas, y cuando se vuelve a él, los más exigentes todavía encontraremos más detalles interesantes que se nos habían escapado. Habrá a quien le emocionarán más ‘Leech’, ‘Undo You’, ‘Lethean’ o ‘Dead Letters’, pero se trata de un cancionero excelso se mire como se mire. Las guitarras siguen teniendo protagonismo en generar esos ambientes, esos cambios de tempo, y los riffs son enormes, escúchense ‘The Parting’ o ‘Ambitions’, probablemente los cortes más apetitosos para algunos.
Y otro detalle, el actual sonido de Katatonia dependen cada vez más de los teclados, que sirven de apoyo fundamental, una especie de colchón, a ese sonido tan inconfundible de la banda. ‘The One You Are Looking For is Not Here’, en la que han invitado a Silje, vocalista de The Gathering, pasa por ser lo más asequible del conjunto junto a ‘Hypnone’, una canción con la que se consigue relajar la mente. ‘Ambitions’, otro de los hitos de Dead End Kings, me ha traído a la memoria alguna pieza de The Great Cold Distance, y eso que empieza con una delicadeza extrema. Hubiese encajado perfectamente en Live Consternation (Peaceville, 2007), un directo en el Summerbreeze Open Air del año anterior.
Y no hay que olvidarse de ‘Dead Letters’, tema que nos adelantaron para ponernos los dientes largos y que cierra un disco con todos los ingredientes de los Katatonia del 2012: elegancia, fuerza, belleza y melancolía a raudales.
1 The Parting 4:52 2 The One You Are Looking for Is Not Here 3:52 3 Hypnone 4:07 4 The Racing Heart 4:06 5 Buildings 3:28 6 Leech 4:23 7 Ambitions 5:07 8 Undo You 4:56 9 Lethean 4:39 10 First Prayer 4:28 11 Dead Letters 4:49
Katatonia is a Swedish metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse (formerly known as Lord Seth) and Anders Nyström (formerly known as Blakkheim). The early Katatonia albums, along with albums by bands such as My Dying Bride, Anathema and Paradise Lost, are sometimes considered forerunners of the death/doom genre.
This is the DVD-Audio included in some limited editions with audio in high resolution stereo and surround.
It's rare when a band that has been around for 20+ years, like Katatonia has, can put out their 9th album and it be some of the best material they have ever done. I love some of the stuff Katatonia has done before, especially the legendary Brave Murder Day, but overall, I've found most of their albums to be somewhat mediocre. I could never really get into the pre-Akerfeldt heavy stuff (i.e. Dance of December Souls), partly because Jonas sucked at growling. After he realized this and the band mellowed out, they produced some catchy tracks in the mid-era ("Saw You Drown," "Teargas") However, I just never found their post-Akerfeldt stuff as interesting as Opeth, who were making stuff like Blackwater Park around that time. They kinda tried to be heavier again with Viva Emptiness, but instead it sounded almost nu-metal-ish to me, so I kind gave up on them after LFDGD. That was until I saw them play with Opeth a couple weeks ago and heard much of this album live. Judging by their latest efforts, I can say Katatonia has finally surpassed their compatriots. But enough with the Opeth comparisons...
This album is difficult to categorize, genre-wise. I'm not really convinced "depressive rock" in a real genre. This is certainly very prog rock influenced, but there are a decent amount of metal riffs as well, often of the 2rd-hand Meshuggah / Tool-esque variety. Katatonia has mentioned Porcupine Tree and Tool as some of their favorite bands, and this is noticeable here. However, that's not to say that this album isn't original, because I've never heard anything quite like it. It's not immediately catchy when you hear it, like some of their mid-era stuff, but rather it takes a few listens to grow on you. But once it does, you may get stuck listen to this album over and over for days. At least I have. I've been listening to this album for almost two weeks straight since I saw them play. And I didn't even think I liked new Katatonia.
Jonas Renkse unquestionably puts in the best performance of his career on this album. His lyrics have gotten more mature than on previous albums, and he has gotten more confident as a vocalist. The vocals are never heavy on this album, but Renkse does have a bit more power behind them now (see: the opening track "The Parting"). Also, there is a particularly outstanding vocal harmony with Renkse, Nystrom, and another guy at the end of "The Racing Heart," especially if you see it live. There's also a duet with the chick from The Gathering on the second song, if you're into that.
The guitars on this album are more metal, and also better at *being* metal, than previous albums. As I alluded to earlier, they've been trying to be heavier for the past few albums, but I feel like they've really refined their sound here. Although some of the riffs are indeed obvious Meshuggah/Tool rip-offs, Katatonia is playing heavy music better now than they have since the mid-90s. There are several moments on this album which induce involuntary headbanging.
At other times, mainly verses, the guitars take a backseat, and the keyboards supply the melodies. They keyboard work on this album is excellent and really what completes this album and helps create the atmosphere. They are present throughout most of the album, but also never really in the forefront. Rather, they blend in well with the rest of the music.
The bassist does nothing to warrant mention, but the drumming performance is solid. There's some cool stuff with weird time signatures in the Toolshuggah riffs, and a bit of double bass here and there. Pretty creative overall. I don't know, I'm not good at talking about drums.
In conclusion, I love Brave Murder Day too much to say that this is Katatonia's best album, but it certainly is the best thing they've done in a long time. Katatonia has been around for so many years, yet I think it has taken them a while to really find their own unique sound. With this album, I feel like they have finally carved a niche for themselves and yes, matched or surpassed their more popular Swedish friends.
Highlights: "The Parting," "Hypnone," "The Racing Heart," "Lethean," "First Prayer", "Dead Letters." Five points off because the other 5 songs aren't as good as these.
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