Dead End Kings
I surprised myself by putting my hand up to review this album, as the band Katatonia - and the genre of Swedish Dark Progressive Rock/Metal in general - is not really within my usual comfort zone. But I really got into the preview song I heard from it, 'Dead Letters', and thought that I would give the rest of it a whirl too. Fellow Beards who had already listened to the album said that if I gave it a 5 rating they would come round to my house and wee through the letterbox. Or something to that effect. This led me to believe that it was probably some kind of Girl-Oriented Metal, and that I would also like the rest of the album. Unfortunately [or perhaps considering the circumstances, fortunately] that was not entirely the case.
The playing throughout is slick, heavy and accomplished. The production is totally flawless. Just, the songs are a bit dull and feel like they have been sanitised, and are lacking a bit of “grunt”. I found it great background music to have on while I was doing other things; I didn’t really find myself pricking my ears up at any point and thinking “Wow” until the last track, 'Dead Letters' came on. It is painfully obvious why they have chosen to put this one out as the promotional track. I thought that quite a few of the tracks wouldn’t have been out of place on the soundtrack of one of the Twilight movies, if that conjures any images for you.
The promotion for the album calls it “yet another milestone in audial melancholy & angst”. They may as well have just said “teenager music”. My 14 year old self would definitely have loved this album. One of the Boss Beards described it as “Like Tool with Linkin Park’s production.” I would say that was a fairly concise and accurate description, and for some listeners, probably not a disparaging comment at all. If I was giving a rating based on that one song, it would certainly have been a 5 and never mind the consequences, but the rest of the album dragged it right down for me.
Posted: Fri 27 July 2012