Sound — 8
When it came time to follow up their 2006 masterpiece, "The Great Cold Distance", expectations ran high for what would be Katatonia's 8th album, and the Swedish alt. Metal pioneers don't disappoint. Led by mainmen Jonas Renkse & Anders Nystrm, Katatonia prove once again why they are one of the metal scene's most consistent bands, taking the listener on a sonic maelstrom of heavy, often dissonant riffs and desolate soundscapes, throwing in a few surprises along the way. While much of the music contained within "Night Is The New Day" may now be considered standard fare for Katatonia, Jonas Renkse and co. Have without doubt brought to the table some of the most accomplished songwriting in the bands career thus far, and the contributions of collaborator Frank Default can not be understated, bringing a newfound beauty to the band's musical attack. First single and album opener "Forsaker" is a prime example of the band's formidable brand of modern alternative metal, a short industrial tinged intro giving way to both the crushing riffs and eerie melodies that have become the band's trademark, whilst also providing a showcase for the ever improving vocals of frontman Jonas Renkse. Elsewhere, "Idle Blood" amazes with it's intricate acoustic guitar lines and layered vocal melodies, and stunning album closer "Departed" brings a mix of delicate piano & an industrial soundscape to the band's musical palette.
Lyrics — 9
Having long ago abandoned the guttural growled vocal approach utilized on debut "Dance Of December Souls", Jonas Renkse delivers what is undoubtedly his most accomplished effort as vocalist, once again bringing his eternally bleak lyrics to the forefront via some of the strongest melodies on any Katatonia album. Lyrics like; "All my fears come into view, There must be an end soon, And every waking hour, Is part of the lie" from second to last track "Day And Then The Shade" affirm the depressing nature of the band's ethereal soundscapes, offering the listener an insight into the eternally bleak world that is "Night Is The New Day".
Overall Impression — 9
Similar in essence to the band's previous effort "The Great Cold Distance", but different in approach, "Night Is The New Day" shows Katatonia leaving behind some of the metal tendencies of the aforementioned album, instead putting the melodies of singer Jonas Renkse to the forefront of the attack, also welcoming due touches of piano & tasteful orchestration where appropriate. Arguably the band's strongest collective effort, "Night Is The New Day" reveals a band at the apex of their musical evolution & with a constantly expanding arsenal of sounds at their disposable, leaving some question as to why Katatonia are yet to gain the recognition on the international music scene that they so readily deserve.