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Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts (review)

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Posted May 25, 2016 by George Archibald in CD Reviews

Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts

Reviewed By George Archibald

Swedish doom metal band Katatonia are back again with The Fall of Hearts released on May 20th. This marks the 10th studio album for the band that has spanned the lifetime of three decades. This album also introduces the two newest additions to the band. Drummer Daniel Moilanen who joined the band in 2015, and guitarist Roger Öjersson who is replacing longtime guitar player Per Eriksson. The Fall of Hearts follows the traditional Katatonia sound that longtime listeners have loved.  Melancholy vocals accompanied with melodic guitar riffs and slight bits of organ, it doesn’t stray too far from their signature sound.

katatoniaThe lead off single of the album is “Old Heart Fails”, which the band made a lyrical video to promote The Fall of Hearts before its release. A haunting single guitar starts off this track before vocalist Jonas Renkse begins to unfold the song. A song of lost, sorrow and rebuilding, these are the themes of many Katatonia songs. “For every dream that is left behind me, I take a bow. With every war that would wage inside me, I hear the sound. Another day in this vanishing life, return to dust. With every chance I pushed away, unto the night.” The chorus speaks to the emotion as the music swells, in kind of a heavy hearted pick me up. Swelling guitars come in with a violin like effect to somberly finish off the song.

One of the stand out tracks on this album is, “Serac”. It has a really groovy hard rock feel on this song. The song has a very driving demeanor to it. Distorted guitars and a driving drum tempo start this song off at a medium pace, before we come to a percussion break down. Bongos, organ, and flute play through as the vocals carry us through the chorus before the pace picks up again. At 7:25 mins. long this song has a bit of everything mixed in to keep you interested throughout.

Katatonia has impressed again, sticking to the traditional sound that has made them great. The Fall of Hearts is a great showcase for Daniel Moilanen who really shows his abilities behind the kit. He has the restraint to play through the melodic without over driving it, while being able to carry through on the edgier parts of the album. Jonas Renkse’s vocals are flawless as usual, a soft lullaby in the way he carries each lyric. This album will not disappoint if you are a longtime fan of the band, if you are a new listener this a great addition to a very successful catalogue. I suggest you check out their other releases as well if you enjoy The Fall of Hearts.


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George Archibald
George Archibald


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