KATATONIA – The Great Cold Distance

The title says it all, The Great Cold Distance is another trek into desolation, despair, and misery courtesy of none other than KATATONIA. Those who were more than impressed with their previous release, Viva Emptiness, will find much to enjoy here. What is less apparent but more meaningful and impressive than simply observing the heavy/light sonic juxtapositions is the creativity and progressive approach behind the riffs and compositions themselves. KATATONIA understand exactly how to blend simple chunky riffs (ala TOOL) with more technical musicianship to keep things digestible yet intellectually satisfying. Few bands could make a killing off of an unending well of beautiful melodies, inventive riffing, tasteful time signature changes, and an excellent command of atmosphere. Jonas Renske provides another tortured, melancholic performance with his soft, soothing vocals. It can be argued that for every couple sweet vocal lines, there may be a few weak ones scattered about. The Great Cold Distance features some standout tracks yet is more potent and rewarding as a whole. The album’s production is immaculate and credit should be given to the team of Jens Bogren and David Castillo for their excellent work. Listening to this on a great stereo system comes highly recommended. KATATONIA specialize in mood music. Thus, if you’re in anything but a crestfallen mood, The Great Cold Distance will certainly remind you who you’re dealing with. (Peaceville Records)

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