There aren’t many bands around who can turn loneliness, misery and utter despair into soothing and genuinely moving music. Anathema and Paradise Lost are masters when it comes to melancholy. Katatonia from Sweden is another prime candidate, as albums like Tonight’s Decision (1999), Last Fair Deal Gone Down (2001), Viva Emptiness (2003) and The Great Cold Distance (2006) will attest to. The creative process for their most recent album, Night Is The New Day wasn’t the easiest one in the history of the band, but it culminated in one of the best albums by the band to date.
This wasn’t an easy thing to do, because especially Viva Emptiness and The Great Cold Distance both feature some of the best songs the band have ever written. Seen in that light it isn’t a big surprise that their latest offering isn’t a major departure from what Renkse and Co have done on their two previous albums. In essence the material on Night Is The New Day is still a combination of the band’s earlier doom/death metal days and their later, more experimental and progressive approach from Tonight’s Decision and Last Fair Deal Gone Down.
The beauty of Night Is The New Day is the band’s uncanny talent to combine subtle bleakness with impressive song writing skills. This becomes apparent in compositions like Forsaker, The Longest Year, Idle Blood, The Promise Of Deceit and New Light. The subtle use of electronic and psychedelic effects enriches the material on this album. The veiled and fragile style of singing by Jonas Renkse only strengthens the stark atmosphere of Night Is The New Day.
Sound wise the album is skilfully handled by Jens Bogren (Ihsahn, Paradise Lost, Opeth). He made sure that Night Is The New Day sounds heavy enough to please the old fan base, yet delicate enough to enchant the more gothic rock orientated audience as well.
Night Is The New Day by Katatonia might not be the most surprising release in the band’s catalogue, but it’s a more than worthy successor to Viva Emptiness and The Great Cold Distance. I can’t wait for their next album!
written by Raymond Westland