on 22 April 2010
The first time I listened a few tracks of this album I inmediately decided to buy it. This is the kind of music that touches the heart, like music by Anathema. Do not expect growling vocals or extreem virtuosism but well composed tracks led by an amazing singer. Some reviewers state that this album is not as good as their previous releases. I admit I have not listened to previous releases by Katatonia but I don't need it to judge this album is great. Now, I will listen to previous albums but I doubt that they are much better that this one.
on 20 January 2010
If there's one band that's had loads of promise ( not to mention goodwill from their fans ), but never quite fulfilled, it's Katatonia.
I have every album since 'Discouraged Ones', and as that title suggests, it's very easy to be put off by Katatonia: Terrible sixthform-metal name, Death Metal origins, awful image. And the previous albums haven't helped either: After a stupendous couple of opening tracks, always failing to hold the attention later on. The dirgy nature of their songs, and lack of different tempos probably contributed to my listener-fatigue. ( Hey, I'm A FAN so I feel I can be a bit critical, because the potential for greatness was always there ).
However, with the previous album, 'The Great Cold Distance' the songwriting and production quality took a marked leap forward. In fact, the entire first half of that album verged on 'classic', and the second half, being also pretty excellent, almost didn't get a look-in due to the immensity of those first tracks.
Finally, with 'Night Is The New Day', they have done it. Greatness all the way through. Varied songs, crushing riffs, beautiful melodies, aching melancholia.
Amazingly, I had to double-check the album credits for any sign of Michael Akerfeldt of Opeth, as this could actually BE Opeth, minus the death metal vocals, which I'm pretty sure a lot of people would be very happy to hear about. Several tracks are reminiscent of Opeth's landmarks and the atmosphere, playing, vocals and even some of the fills could be from 'Damnation' ( imagine an electric version of that acoustic classic - that's what some of this sounds like! ), plus bits of 'Ghost Reveries'. But no, despite being singer Jonas's former flatmate, Michael is only mentioned in the 'thanks' list.
In a way, Katatonia only let themselves down with the visual presentation on this one. The cover design is a totally run-of-the-mill 'Euro Dark Metal' effort, which COMPLETELY undersells the content. It looks too 'My Dying Bride' and 'Moonspell', when it should look 'Editors' or 'Joy Division'. It kind of betrays a lack of courage on the part of the record company, as they obviously have given up trying to sell Katatonia to the miserable indie crowd, and gone for the safer rivet-head crowd.
No matter. This is a dark, textured, beautifully powerful album, and should finally find them their own audience. Or maybe Opeth's..!
on 7 August 2012
Yet another brilliant album by Katatonia with the extra tracks bringing an interesting twist to two of the best songs on this album.
I think this album has a noticeably darker and more emotional tone to the last few albums and although it is still very good, it doesn't beat he Great Cold Distance (which is essential if you've not got)
on 15 March 2014
This was the first Katatonia album I didn't buy when it came out. I regret that now. It's a great record but takes a few listens to really enjoy some of it's subtleties. Some amazing riffage and textures. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
on 5 November 2009
Even after just a few listens this album is nothing short of spectacular. Beautiful, sad and dark melodic textures. Heavy and crushing one moment, light and etheral the other. Jonas Renskes vocals and lyrics hit another high point while the rest of the band sounds as tight and focused as never before.
"The Great Cold Distance" was a masterpiece but Katatonia one-upped themselves with this one.
on 1 July 2013
Heard this on Spotify and thought I like it enough to buy it, as I'm a big Prog Rock fan... heavy then melodic and transient... very skillfully realized... a great place to begin my journey as an emerging Katatonia fan
on 1 January 2012
An absolute killer of an album from start to finish. you can literally listen to this album on repeat, pure genius.
on 27 March 2010
`Night Is The New Day' was an unforeseen surprise for many reasons. Listening to the introduction to `Forsaker', I always feel that the opening and main riff for the entire song, which sees the band use a fair amount of stuttering repetition, is very metallic. This record signifies to me that Katatonia have totally lost their metal edge and definitely remember their roots going back to the old doom laden days and darker atmospheric tendencies on `Discouraged Ones'. Having just seen Katatonia live last month in London, I have developed more of an appreciation for this record, as it took me some time to get used to the idea that they were going to be somewhat metallic in approach, alternative and perhaps slightly avant-gardé. According to most people who have managed to catch the Swedes live more than once, they normally take a few songs to get going and are quite slow to draw a positive response from the crowd, despite the wealth of experience on the shoulders of the musicians but, having witnessed them in London recently, most people at the gig, if not all, would agree that the line-up changes which have recently sent shockwaves through the band and their fans have had a positive affect on their performances in a live setting.
Although Per Eriksson and Niklas Sandin are only session members, performing on tour with the band, there is a feeling that Katatonia were in desperate need of a change. Although we're used to hearing a change in sound, from one record to another, the band seemingly required a line-up change to give them the boost they needed to perform well in front of an avid audience who were lapping up everything the band had to offer, particularly the performance of `Omerta', which saw the jubilant crowd sing along to the upbeat lyrics. I mention the live performance because, obviously, the line-up change will affect future releases. Maybe this is the end of what we have come to know as the modern Katatonia with records like `Night Is The New Day' and a wind of change which will alter the entire progression of the band. Initially, after listening to this record on repeat in preparation for the live performance, I felt that something needed to be done that would alter the way Katatonia approached a full-length studio release. In terms of the approach on this record, it's pretty much the same as the previous one's in recent times.
The occasional song, like `Idle Blood', takes on a more open approach, rather than the close fisted aggressor that the introduction to `Forsaker' becomes. The vocals for the former can also be akin to that of `Viva Emptiness', taking the melodious style to similar levels, though never overtaking what Katatonia achieved on that monumental piece. The backing vocals which occur on this song are fine, though not exactly necessary. I felt the same in a live setting, too. Jonas is more than capable at leading the front line alone and I didn't think the backing vocals were essential as they don't add much to the performance. They're very softly spoken, though on other tracks they're much more hard hitting, thus filtering into the background without showcasing much emotion or value. Vocally, the record is as Katatonia have always been. The vocals remain clean and Jonas remains able to dictate the listeners emotions with his traumatic lyrical themes and expression of loss, regret and self-exploration as things around us begin to collapse and our worlds alter drastically. `Onward Into Battle' is a particularly rousing number when it comes to the vocals and instrumentation. In a live setting, once again, this song proved to be epic.
The instrumentation was often majestic with the bass remaining audible over the smooth production. The previous record, `The Great Cold Distance', seemed to be trapped between being the aggressor and remaining passive. This record however, manages to switch between several different stylistic approaches with less fuss given the fantastic production qualities with songs like `Onward Into Battle' having amazing choruses which stir a magnitude of emotions within the listener given their emotional readiness. For songs like this, Katatonia have even adopted a symphonic sound (performed by a session musician), though this is never overbearing. It occurs beneath the rest of the instrumentation and vocals, but definitely adds a new dimension to the style of the song and indeed the band as a whole. The song writing has been somewhat changed, though not completely overhauled. The metallic additions, as well as the symphonic touches are a nice, unpredictable part of the new sound, but this record isn't without its occasional run-in with mediocrity, as songs like `Nephilim' show. Though this song contains the aforementioned qualities, the direction seems lackadaisical and the vocals far too lazy to rouse the listener up from his or her feet in order to give a rapturous round of applause. Regardless of how average this song is, the rest of the record is simply a continuation of the well worked Katatonia experimentation.
on 21 December 2009
Katatonia have slowed things down with this album. Is that bad? Well, no. It's the first album they've made where I like every song. I do miss however some really angry songs here though..it's the only thing I miss a bit.
That said, I have some albums by both Fields of Nephilim and Opeth. I honestly think Katatonia is way past these bands when it comes to music writing. Yea, that might sound like a stupid thing to say, but Katatonia is the only band that have managed to make me completely obsessed. Katatonia is the one band that alone managed to make music and metal interesting again. There's so much subtle beauty in this album and many of their other albums. So much pure brilliance that takes time to discover and fully enjoy. I Love that an album can continue to grow every month that passes. Not many bands do that I feel.
Bands like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride are bands I feel have more in common with Katatonia. The huge difference though is that Katatonia always manages to make an album that grows and grows. The Great Cold Distance was one of the biggest musical experiences I've ever had..and I've always been a huge music lover. It's not something that happens often.
Again Katatonia manages to make something unique and beautiful. Most bands this year have disappointed me, but Katatonia has yet to do that. Jonas still have a haunting voice which can sound monotone, yet full of wonderful varied vocal details. Sweden have a lot of good music these days..LifeLover being the second most interesting band.
on 6 April 2010
Katatonia are getting better and better. With the production quality getting stronger on each release, the band is also in a great place musically. Especially in the Vocal department. Some of the Vocals on these tracks take them from a 'good' to 'excellent' status. No more bland delivery, the emotion on this disc is stunning. Especially on the last track 'Departer'.
Seems the band has finally found their niche. This disc is their best overall and is filled with some nice harmonies, good songwriting and is solid from start to finish. Some of their prior efforts were hit and miss, this is not. Its consistent. Even with a touch more of a commercial sound, it does not come across generic, the band has merely developed.
I swear that some of these songs just sit in your mind. There are no 'hooks' really, just layers of harmonies and soft tempos that stay with you for the most part. You will find yourself wanting more with repeated listens. Its hard to describe, but if you already like the band you understand. Its a mood. Somber and Emotional, but has something more. No label can really define these songs.
That is not to say there aren't heavy parts. Most of the songs build from soft to mid-paced heavy tracks with a solid guitar punch. Especially on the excellent 'Promise of Deceit'. I like this as some of their earlier works, the guitar sound was a little hollow. This disc has a solid 'crunch' to the guitar chords just like their last disc (Great Cold Distance) did, that make the interaction with the softer tones that much more powerful..
Quick Breakdown :
Forsaker - Heavy opening track with soft and heavy backdrops. Opens it up.
Longest Year - Good mid-paced track with excellent sounding drums and harmonies.
Idle Blood - Brilliant. Great acoustic sounds with orchestration. Solid track. This is what the band does best.
Onward Into Battle - OK. Not my favorite. Has some decent sections, but sometimes I skip it.
Liberation - Excellent. Nice chord based, electric track. Great Drum sound as well.
Promise of Deceit - Very Very strong song. Gets in your mind and you wont forget. Excellent harmonies and slight off beat chorus. Just a great great song. Probably the best of them all.
Nephilim - Great song! Very Sabbath-esque. Great dark vibe and well sung chorus. Another very strong track and soft/heavy interaction. Great song.
New Night - Good song. Mid-paced and good. Not great.
Inheritence - Very slow and moody. Fits well and has that 'Porcupine Tree' experimental sound. Decent.
Day and Then... - Really good song. Nice chord based, heavy track. Good vocal. Really sits in your mind. The haunting melody line is nice.
Departer - An excellent transitional song to end the disc. Has an Anathema type sound. Somber, incredibly sung and gripping. I have come to love this song and its soft layers of emotion. One of the best the band has created. But the vocals make this track what it is.
Gave it a 4 because a couple songs are so-so compared to the others. That may be a bit harsh seeing that the 'other' tracks are extremely hard to top. This band is excellent right now and I would highly, highly recommend this to any rock/Metal/Prog fan with patience. It will be greatly rewarded as this is one of the best discs I have heard in a long time.