Without any doubt, Katatonia’s new album “Dead End Kings” arrives just in time to celebrate the traumatic end of summer. Therefore, instead of swimming cheerfully in the deep blue sea I find myself traveling through the dark abyss of the human soul during a chilly rainy day. Katatonia didn’t lose its touch, probably never will, and delivers an album incredibly mature in terms of songwriting and musical quality.
“The Parting” is an amazingly sour beginning. Melancholy and loneliness embrace each and every note. The progressive style guitar riffs are super clean and as strong as ever even if this is certainly not an aggressive tune.
“The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here” feels like a dark romantic anthem. The guitars are slow and soothing mixing prog and traditional rock styles, the vocals are dreamy yet powerful with the genuine addition of female vocals performed by Silje Wergeland from The Gathering.
“Undo You” has remnants of that romanticism scattered through the sweet keyboards layers, the tender arpeggios and the passionate vocals.
“Hypone” brings you comfort but it will inevitably leave you in the shadows with all those sorrows spinning in your head. Every guitar riff feels so luminous in Katatonia’s eternal darkness while Jonas Renkse’s vocals add nostalgic vibes to the main melody.
Jonas Renkse becomes a sorrowful desperate storyteller on “The Racing Heart” and when distortion takes over it becomes clear that there is no way out.
“Leech” and “Ambitions” are all about nostalgia and melancholy but never repetitive while the guitars work relentlessly to build groovy rhythms through the thick layers of darkness.
“Dead Letters” adds electronic accents to the atmospheric keyboards, raging guitar riffs and gentle vocals while the “dreams are getting darker and darker”.
Overall, “Dead End Kings” is an impeccable work of art that flows naturally like a daydream and you might easily find yourself listening to it in loop without even realizing it.