Musings on music, old, new, popular and obscure. Post punk, metal, hip-hop, funk, and rock in general. A music fan with a desire to lose boundaries on what should and should not be listened to writes about experience in music from a listener's perspective, hopefully unhindered by prior expectation.

Friday, September 21, 2012

You Used to Be Like My Twin -- Katatonia's The Great Cold Distance

One of the most simple yet random of the purchases I made some time ago, Katatonia's The Great Cold Distance is my first ever Katatonia album, and, indeed, my first ever listen to Katatonia at all. The name rang bells from the days I hung about a discussion forum based around metalheads in college. I can't actually guarantee those bells were ringing correctly, but I figured that for a brand new copy of the album at $2, I couldn't complain too much.

My notion going in was that they were going to be on the more commercial and accepted side of extreme metal. I found through a quick round of sampling that I was more right than I suspected. They aren't really in the range of extreme metal at all. They may have been previously, though their home being Sweden, there's a strong strain of more readily accessible metal wandering there, much of it falling into that subgenre "melodic death metal" or "melodeath," which this isn't. Jonas Renkse flat out sings consistently throughout the album, nowhere approaching the "growl" of death metal.

The album did drop one single, "My Twin," which is a solidly catchy song:

Wikipedia justifiably has editors classifying the album as "alternative" or "gothic" metal, which is quite reasonable. The inherent tone, both musically and lyrically is rather somber and depressed. There are some weird arguments flying about how they sound like Tool, but this reflects more on some choices in a few odd vocal effects and some approaches to guitar riffs on occasion, but overall doesn't bear out too much.

If you will allow the phrase, it's a very pleasant album. Obviously, with the tone, this isn't exactly the right sort of word, but I think we all know that rather "down" music can indeed be very enjoyable despite this. And this album is very much that. It's interesting to hear it come from the general community of metal as well, where musicianship is emphasized enough that the experience with it does show in the performances on this album.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...