"Dead End Kings"
I was waiting for this album with big misgiving, since previous album "Night Is The New Day" simply disappointed me. There were some good songs, but generally speaking it was boring and emotionless. "Dead End Kings" is a bit better, but still it's more or less the same case.
Well, let's start with something positive. First of all, the layout is really amazing! It's done in "modern" style, yet I love such weird, surreal kind of art. To be honest I bought this album without even listenning one song, just because I saw this amazing cover in a music store.
Also a modern, clean production is something I liked. Of course it's a matter of taste, but I'm quite OK with that. You see, I hate such sound while it come to more traditional metal. But here everything highlights a bit surreal atmosphere, which is cool. The only thing that I haven't like is a sound of vocals - sometimes there are superimposed two tracks of singing, one on another, and it sounds just awful.
Most of the songs are being played in the style that Katatonia elaborated somewhere upon "Viva Empitness". Thanks to a new production many times they sound a bit psychedelic (like in "Hypnone"). Jonas still sings in this characteristic manner of a guy who really doesn't care about anything. It works (as always) if a song is, let's face it, emotional. If not, it's simply getting boring.
And here's the main flaw of this release: some tracks are so emotionless that together with this clean production and monotonous vocals are making me sleepy. Maybe that was intented, but to be honest if I want to sleep I simply do it, without any boosters. For example the second track is so sweet and tiring that I am really wondering why they decided to record it. Silje Wergeland, who has sang in it, really doesn't help. In fact her vocal is just annoying. Or look on another boring track - "First Prayer". It extends and extends, but nothing really happens. The song is passing by, while I am falling into the arms of Morpheus (no, not this from Matrix).
Luckily there are some highlights. E.g. "Leathen" is a great track, full of sorrow and desperation, also an opening "The Parting" is a very strong position. Agh, if the whole album was as good as those tracks...
I could grumble like that for a long, long time but it really doesn't has any sense. Let's say that 60% of music on this album is really good. The rest is an ordinary boring stuff. If you're a fan of Katatonia, you should check it by yourself. Maybe you won't be disappointed - unlike me.
1. The Parting
2. The One You Are Looking For is Not Here
4. The Racing Heart
8. Undo You
10. First Prayer
11. Dead Letters