Night Is The New DayFeatured review by: UG Team, on november 05, 2009 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: You'd think after spending almost two decades channelling the densest of gloom Katatonia's bank of ideas might be running a bit dry that said of course, creative frustration alone could easily inspire another song or two. It's unfair to mock though, because since their humble beginnings in 1991 the Swedes have grown in sound and stature. Night Is The New Day' follows up The Great Cold Distance', a modern-sounding and modern-looking blockbuster, and while the spotless self-production has made a return, Night...' is a different beast indeed.
Not as indebted to the power of the single as many Katatonia albums have been, this album seems more like a further exploration of each facet of misery they've unearthed over the years. Apocalyptic chugging in Forsaker', downbeat reflection in Departer', so-Opeth-it-hurts tunecraft in Idle Blood'...pretty much all bases are covered. The album isn't brimming with obvious singles-to-be, yet there are hooks aplenty; one of the great strengths of this album. As any listener will know a massive chunk of Katatonia's identity comes from vocalist Jonas Renkse, but here he is in many ways the thread of continuity from song to song while the rest of the instruments explore different avenues. It's an interesting thing to try and pin down though, as the expressive guitar style of Anders Nystrm doesn't change either, it merely applies itself to the mood of each song. Frank Default provides keyboards and other programmed things which play a big part in constructing the atmosphere of, among others, two of the album's highlights: The Longest Year' and Inheritance'. // 8
Lyrics: Listening to this band's output over the years has been like reading a journal monitoring Jonas Renkse's progress as a singer - from the uneasy pitching of Day' and I Break' right up to the present. It is safe to say that this new album marks his most assured effort yet - each song is considered and approached differently based on its dynamics and its emotional relevance. Avalanches of suffering are invoked on Nephilim', but the next phase is never more than a few minutes away and before you know it the album has reached its swansong, the fantastically depressive Departer'. The thick darkness that emanates from the words is a suitable companion to the music and, indeed, Travis Smith's excellent artwork. The thematic images of red and of fire (central in many songs, at least featured in others) turn out to be yet another connective for each track and are very effective as contributors to the overall lyrical quality. // 9
Overall Impression: Night Is The New Day' is, in just about every way, a bloody good album; in fact it is the only Katatonia album that I would say is consistently so throughout. Highly melodic yet deceptively dissonant at times, this albums many tunes will each find their own place as you listen more and more the very best of them might even take a permanent residence the area of your head where My Twin' and Teargas' have previously resided. Absolutely one of the big releases to be taken into consideration when metal's contributions to the year 2009 come to be revisited. // 9
Night Is The New Day
Snowman388, on august 27, 2010 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: First off, I'm writing this review because I was not satisfied with the other two (no offense, UG Team). I believe every band should get the praise/critique they deserve. And exposure.
Katatonia deserves a lot of praise and even more exposure. They are so unique in the metal world, and constantly developing. Their beginnings included death metal growls and stories about eery places. They have progressed so much, and their music is the one benefiting from it.
"Forsaker" is the opening track and it begins with a series of chunky guitar riffs that crescendo until they hit full volume. This may put off longtime fans, seeing as the guitars seemingly resemble something from hardcore, but Jonas Renske quickly comes in and brings the trademark sound of Katatonia. His vocals are so unique and diverse, he changes between bleak, up-beat and something else in-between.
Katatonia does stray into the mainstream territory, as usual, but not so much to off-put fans or lose credibility from the extreme metal community. This is why Katatonia's fan base is so wide and varied. In spite of these mainstream elements, each song will have a section why they are accepted by the extreme metalheads. Yet, there is no growling present on the whole album. It's the drums and guitar that do it, with constantly heavy guitar and spot-on drumming.
The first thing I thought when listening to this album (specifically "Idle Blood") was how much it sounds like Opeth. This is likely due to the two bands' vocalists' friendship (if that made any sense), and each band have influenced each others' recent work. But these Swedes' style can't be shaken, and this whole album is immersed in this style.
Although none of the songs reach five minutes, save for "Departer", they have a very lengthy feel to them. This is because of the spacey and almost cosmic feel that the album has, and because you're so immersed in Jonas' voice. Also, they have a strong base in doom metal. But, unlike doom metal, the songs aren't slow but they are just not hurried. They want the listener to take their time listening to the album so they can experience it how it was meant to be.
I would like to see some growling in the album, but that may throw off the whole mood. // 8
Lyrics: Katatonia is all atmospheric. They want you to feel how they feel. And that's why the lyrics are such a strong presence in their work. The lyrics translate a feeling of depression and hope at the same time, as does the music. The lyrics follow the musics, with depressing lyrics during the slow, miserable parts and slightly more uplifting during the louder, upbeat parts. This gives a really full, well rounded experience for the listener. // 9
Overall Impression: Does it compare to other albums or artists? Certainly, Opeth. No, I'm just kidding. These guys don't compare to any other artists, not even their own albums, because they are constantly progressing and constantly changing. And getting better. With the perfect mix of melancholy and hope, Katatonia provides a unique listening experience almost unrivaled in today's music industry. Get this album. // 10
Night Is The New Day
deadmansharvest, on march 12, 2010 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Katatonia's new album "Night is the New Day" is an album to be reckoned with. Upon my first listen of the album I was amazed at how dark and yet how absolutely beautiful it was! The sound in general is just massive! The guitar tones, the bass, the drums and keyboards all were out of this world. Despite all of these excellent elements, the thing that stood out the most to me were the vocals. If I could choose only one vocalist to record with me it would be Jonas Renkse of Katatonia. From start to finish he delivers time and time again. The opening of the album, a track entitled "Forsaker," really grabs you and pulls you right into the mood of the record. The styles displayed on this disc are very much in the same vein of the older albums. This time however, Katatonia really pulled from the "Damnation" side of the Opeth style. There were parts in some of the songs that I could have sworn Mikael kerfeldt was doing the vocals. // 10
Lyrics: The overall tone of the lyrics if one of hopelessness, and despair. They really go hand in hand with the music itself. The opening track "Forsaker" gives us the chorus - "the dark will arrive, abandon your freedom." Very dark words, with a sad melody makes for an awesome chorus! Jonas Renske delivers a outright stunning performance on this record. His display of skill will be forever remembered by myself and everyone that I show this album to. // 10
Overall Impression: The closest comparison I could make to the overall goodness that is Katatonia's "Night is the New Day" would have to be Opeth's "Damnation." They are very similar in mood, and sound. The only difference in Katatonia's latest effort is the use of heavy guitars instead of all mellow instruments. For me the songs that stood out the most on this offering were "Forsaker", "Onward Into Battle", "Liberation", "The Promise of Deciet", "Day and Then the Shade", and "Departer". I absolutely adore this album. It is the perfect album for a rainy day. I love the fact that when I put it in, I am immediately transported to another place. Perhaps a bleak forest in Sweden, with the rain striking my face. The only thing that I could find wrong with this album is that there aren't more songs to listen to. It is an album that I would immediately replace if it were lost or stolen, but that will never happen because it will always be at my side. Awaiting to be put in the CD player. Go out and buy this album, you won't regret it. I know I didn't. // 10
Night Is The New Day
ARMAGEDDON_IT, on october 18, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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". // 9
Overall Impression: 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. // 9