Katatonia: The Great Cold Distance
Katatonia - The Great Cold Distance - [Peaceville Records]


There is something very urban about Katatonia; perhaps it's their perfect cold sound which makes me feel so alienated.
For their 7th studio album, they chose the name "The Great Cold Distance", aiming to create a feeling of distance from everything, as in increasing the chill we all feel knowing that after all, each of us is alone- just try "Rusted", you'll understand.

It's inevitable to talk about Katatonia without mentioning their past, heavier period; two small reminders of that are a growl in the background of the opening track, "Leaders", the starting/main riffs in "Increase" and "The Itch", who also serves as somewhat of a title song and is my favorite one here so far.

The "new", more relaxed, gloomier Katatonia is much more to my taste than their earlyier period; "Soil's Song" takes me back to some big city, where I'm short of air, feeling slightly dizzy.
"Follower" climbs up with the bass line of Mattias "Kryptan" Norrman right into its grand chorus, and drops into the atmosphere the effected sustained guitars give.

I can't escape comparing this album to their previous one, "Viva Emptiness"; the main riffs and flow in "Deliberation" are a good example for what I'm after – this song shows a natural evolution by simply adding more guitar and vocal effects.
Another point of reference is Jonas P. Renkse's voice, sounding most similar to their previous attempt in what seems to be the heaviest track here- "Consternation".

Daniel Liljekvist is my favorite drummer… There, I said it; I'm bribed here, I can't overlook his precision and dynamics- both qualities are found throughout the album; "July" in it's Tool/APC like way and "My Twin" (which was also justly chosen as a single) in it's catchy and typical to Katatonia way (can YOU stop humming "you used to be like my twin"?) and obviously in "The Itch" I mentioned before.

Both Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström and Fredrik “North” Norrman lead and rhythm guitars are what give this album its uniqueness; "In the white" speaks for itself, the simplistic lead just catches my ear.

"Journey Through Pressure" closes this album gracefully, it actually feels like an ending; the lyrics are expressed in the sensual tone, 4:20 minutes that complete the puzzle and make it perfect.

Ofer Vayner

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