Review KATATONIA ‘Sky Void of Stars’

Katatonia have their roots in Stockholm. Jonas Renske and Anders Nyström started up a band in the Swedish capital, which today belongs to the true greats of dark and atmospheric metal.

While in the beginning it was the doomy death metal music, the sound of the band has changed over the years. Katatonia became more progressive. At the same time they kept the dark side of their music. Melancholy and a certain degree of heaviness rest on their songs while the catchy melodies counterbalance them with their lightness.

With ‘Sly Void of Stars’ Katatonia have now released their new record and fans will love it. The Swedes do not change anything in their basic approach, since it is also this time the gloomy melodies that attract the listener.

It starts with ‘Austerity’, a first highlight. The melodies immediately unfold their impact and bite into the subconscious of the listener. The song reveals all its beauty at the first listen and whets the appetite for more. The throbbing ‘Colossal Shade’ is next, providing a hypnotic atmosphere before ‘Opaline’ takes the listener into a unique world of sound. You can’t resist this chorus and rarely has melancholy sounded so appealing.

Photo: Mathias Blom

Some of you may already know ‘Birds’, as the song was released as a single. Calmer and more atmospheric it continues with ‘Drab Moon’. You feel a gray mist, which wraps you and at the same time spreads a certain sense of comfort. This is what makes this album so unique.

The big soundscapes are offered with songs like ‘Impermanence’. On the latter track Katatonia gets support from Joel Ekelöf (Soen) who with his voice evokes an additional goosebump feeling.

Step by step we approach the end of this excellent record. ‘Atrium’ is a hymn which connects darkness and light and you feel how single sunbeams light up the darkness of the atrium, which can be seen as the human soul too.

With ‘No Beacon to Illuminate Our Fall’ Katatonia have put an epic at the end of ‘Sky Void of Stars’. In a unique way, the song ties together everything that characterizes the sound of Katatonia and is a felicitous finale of an outstanding record.

With ‘Sky Void of Stars’ Katatonia have brought the anticipated highlight to the record stores. This album fascinates with emotional intensity, musical prowess and atmospheric sounds that never drown in commericial bliss. In addition, the record impresses with a density of sound, which enhances the power of the individual songs. Katatonia already have some highlights to their credit and with ‘Sky Void of Stars’ they now add another chapter of great achievement.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Austerity
  2. Colossal Shade
  3. Opaline
  4. Birds
  5. Drab Moon
  6. Author
  7. Impermanence (feat. Joel Ekelöf)
  8. Sclera
  9. Atrium
  10. No Beacon To Illuminate Our Fall
  11. Absconder (Mediabook Bonus Track)

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Dark Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: January 20th, 2023

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