CD review KATATONIA ‘Dead Air’

Katatonia, formed in 1991 as a band with passion for death- and black metal, slowly transformed into an outlet that delights musical gourmets with stellar progressive rock and metal. Their latest studio album ‘City Burials’ has seen the light of day in April this year and brought a bit of positivism into the days of a first lockdown.

Not being able to promote the album with an extensive tour, Katatonia was one of the first bands that not only streamed a concert but also delivered an online show with excellent sound.

The band went to Studio Gröndahl in Stockholm on May 9th, 2020 and played a streaming event that featured 20 songs. The setlist of this rather unique event was created by fans, voting for the best songs penned by Katatonia. The result was not only a standard-setting online concert but also opened up the possibility for releasing the show in a physical format.

‘Dead Air’ is the title of an album that includes all the 20 songs performed during this lockdown-show. Fans obviously love the 2006 release ‘The Great Cold Distance’. The album provided six songs including the exquisite ‘Deliberation’. Songs that show Katatonia’s move best are the three tunes taken from ‘Viva Emptiness’. Hymns like ‘Ghost of the Sun’ still reflect the heavier roots with mighty outbursts, alternating with fragile moment. The way how both poles are fused expresses the enormous potential of the band and underlines why the guys belong to spearhead of contemporary progressive metal with style.

What let each of the songs shine bright is the excellent production, fans could enjoy already during the stream. The physical release builds on it and what gets out of the speakers is a thrilling journey through the beautiful soundscapes of progressive metal. Emotional, soulful and heavy, these are the adjectives that describe ‘Dead Air’ the best. This album is an emotional one that impresses and also shows ways how to bridge the suffering times until live concerts will be realistic again.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Lethean (Dead Air Session)
  2. Teargas (Dead Air Session)
  3. Serein (Dead Air Session)
  4. Deliberation (Dead Air Session)
  5. The Winter Of Our Passing (Dead Air Session)
  6. Ghost Of The Sun (Dead Air Session)
  7. The Racing Heart (Dead Air Session)
  8. Soil`s Song (Dead Air Session)
  9. Old Heart Falls (Dead Air Session)
  10. Forsaker (Dead Air Session)
  11. Tonight`s Music (Dead Air Session)
  12. In The White (Dead Air Session)
  13. Leaders (Dead Air Session)
  14. Lacquer (Dead Air Session)
  15. Omerta (Dead Air Session)
  16. My Twin (Dead Air Session)
  17. Unfurl (Dead Air Session)
  18. July (Dead Air Session)
  19. Evidence (Dead Air Session)
  20. Behind The Blood (Dead Air Session)

Label: Peaceville

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: November 13th, 2020

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