Soil's Song 
My Twin 
In the White 
The Itch 
Journey through Pressure




Jonas Renkse – Vocals

Anders Nyström – Guitar

Fred Norrman – Guitar

Mattias Norrman – Bass

Daniel Liljekvist – Drums

KATATONIA: "The great cold Distance   katatonia      Peaceville

Recorded at Fascination Street studios in Orebro, Sweden; preceded by the 4 track EP "MY TWIN"  

Distributed in Switzerland by Irascible Distribution

release date 13.03.06

Viva Emptiness


preview - review by Matthew "Newbreed99" Haumschild___ Matthew Haumschild - click to read profile

Katatonia had shaped themselves up to be this ultimate Gothic band that the world has never known before.


       I am still very surprised about how I feel about this album. I wasn’t too sure what to think about the band honestly. I had heard them a few other times before on other CD samplers and on their previous CD, “Viva Emptiness.” Then, I just thought they were okay and to me, they kind of reminded me of a boring version of Opeth. I then heard “The Great Cold Distance,” and I liked what I heard. Katatonia had shaped themselves up to be this ultimate Gothic band that the world has never known before. The best way to describe them would be like Opeth without as many solos but I think they paint a much darker-gothic image than Opeth almost in the same vein as Paradise Lost had in their earlier days. The other thing that caught me off guard was how catchy some of the songs were. It was odd because under normal ears, one would almost miss the monotone hooks this band dishes up. Let me paint a picture of it.


            Song Dissection:    

            I’m not sure why they chose to open up the album with “Leaders.” It does have a solid start but it didn’t exactly grab my attention. Although, I must say that the song did project some spectacular imagery. I felt like I was walking through a wasteland, listening to this track. To me, this is a testament on how gothic this band really is. The vocals are a bit monotonous but they work.

My favorite track I would have to say would be, “Deliberation.” The lyrics are very catchy as is the guitar riff that goes with it. It has some very dark overtones but once the chorus kicks in, it brings the song to an entirely new level. The chorus makes the song, it’s the type of chorus that everyone can sing along to and quickly memorize. This song could be very appealing to a lot of different people. I showed this track to my girlfriend, who doesn’t even listen to metal and she liked it. The vocals are smooth and melancholy and the guitars are perfect but to be honest, the guitar sound isn’t exactly worth writing about. It isn’t technical, it isn’t melodic, it’s almost as if it has a modern rock style of sound to it yet, it’s gothic. It’s still my favorite track though.

Soil’s Song” is very depressing! The song is very slow, methodical and it has one hell of a punch. The best way to describe the song is that it’s modern gothic. The vocals again sound very smooth but the guitars are much heavier. The song paints an even darker picture than the other tracks on this CD. I’ll go as far as saying that the song is one of the darkest I have ever heard. If the listener is depressed and hears this song…it’ll enrich that person’s experience.

Katatonia put out a single for the song, “My Twin.” I would say it’s a good track, I say “Deliberation” would have been the better track for the single. In this track, the band does sound like a Opeth clone minus the solos. However, I would like to point out that there is a fullness of sound on this song that isn’t found on the other tracks. In this song, the listener can definatly tell how cohesive this band can see. It has a medium fast pace to it and the vocals are catchy…this sounds like a pattern.


Production and Quality:

            I would have liked to have seen a little more diversity in this CD. It seems like the band has the same formula in every song. The difference being that the first four tracks are catchy and I could remember them at any given time but the rest of the tracks are quite forgettable. Every song features the same type of vocals, smooth but monotonous. And there isn’t anything truly awe inspiring about the guitar playing or the bass playing for that matter. The Drumming was adequate, I couldn’t ask for anything more out of them. The sound quality was top notch all the way with the exception of the bass. It was buried in the mix where if producer where to have boosted it a little more, I would have gotten a lot more out of the album.

            I would like to see them live, there’s no question about that and I would go as far as saying that this is one of the most premier and underrated gothic bands in the world today. If this band was paired up with Opeth, Paradise Lost, and Lacuna Coil, they would conquer the world. I just wish the singer would scream once in a while or the guitar player would go into a solo or two.

            The songs I reviewed above are solid 10/10 but as an album, I would have to deduct a point because the rest of the album was just okay.

rating: 9/10


Matthew Haumschild  
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