Let’s get moody.
Katatonia is one of those bands that has managed to completely capture a sound. The moody and beautiful songs have a distinctive feel to them, which makes this one of the best doom bands out there.
However, there is always a double-edged aspect to a band who captures such a distinct sound. Night is the New Day is one of the best albums, ever, and Katatonia has had to live within that shadow since its release. (Aborted suffer a similar issue). While nothing Katatonia has released since Night has been bad, none have captured the greatness. It is odd to have a band that averages at least an 8/10 to have problems overcoming their own excellence…
Anyway, in my opinion, City Burials is their best effort since Night is the New Day. This album would pair well with the older one and could be packaged as a dual disc in many ways. We also have a return to groovy riffs and heavier moments (something that Fall of Hearts needed). Now, this is still a contemplative and moody album, but they bring the heavy at appropriate moments.
Early tracks like “Behind the Blood” capture the sound while still being more energetic than previous efforts. However, it is mid-album with “Vanishing” that this one truly reaches peak epicness. Followed by the equally powerful “City Glaciers” it seems a little odd the best is in the middle. Late album “Untrodden” rounds things out with one of their best songs and leads into a strong closing with “Fighters.”
Overall, this is a great album and a perfect entry point for folks looking for something a little melancholy.
While this is a great album, it might be a little long. While there isn’t a dud track, I can see a lot of folks missing the (better) second half due to the length. Oddly, at 52 minutes this isn’t as long as it theoretically could be, but it still is a relatively big ask.
Either way, this one is worth a listen.