After over two decades of successful career, a band like Katatonia needs no simplistic introduction and the long awaited tenth album decadently entitled “The Fall Of Hearts” confirms the band’s legitimate highly influential status in the metal scene. The album proudly represents Katatonia’s everlasting dark soul, always channeling the impeccable Scandinavian melancholy, and embraces a multifaceted mixture of enthralling music styles.
“Takeover” is not your usual all powerful radio friendly opening track as it rather focuses on a cold melodic core of soft arpeggios and soothing piano stripped of unessential special effects. A natural harmony emanates a longing for lost dreams and the eclectic guitar work successfully delivers a tasteful array of subtly majestic melodies that reach a spontaneous climax with a lovely solo.
“Serein” follows a somber minimalist approach with melodic guitars shining throughout the song in a healthy mid paced crescendo. The ambient atmospheric layers provide a sinuously graceful interlude that inspires a heartwarming serenity.
“Old Heart Falls” unveils the beloved melancholy that has become a trademark of Katatonia’s music catalogue. Highly melodic guitars and dreamy keyboards layers create a series of understated elegant phrases lingering in the midst of a delicately poignant atmosphere and culminating in a rather passionately catchy chorus.
“Sanction” introduces a heavier metallic approach that smoothly gives way to a more dramatically charged melody. The decadently distorted guitar riffs evoke a bleak sonic landscape in perfect Scandinavian fashion and the slower sections portray an ominous sense of desolated decay that leaves us quite disoriented.
“Serac” is an instant favorite that holds a solemnly mesmerizing inner strength that must be fully embraced. Featuring a darkly metaphysical essence inspiringly and fully incarnated by Jonas Renkse’s soulful vocals, this track is filled with dazzling prog style guitar work that packs polished catchy riffs and decadently melodious solos. While the uptempo rhythm is highly addictive, the melancholic atmospheric breakdown mixes languid guitar phrases and piano melodies that evoke an everlasting melancholy.
“Shifts” features a slower tempo filled with gloomy sentimental piano melodies intricately surrounded by sober atmospheric layers that channel a sorrowful inner peace while Renkse’s vocals gracefully enhance the intensely tormented melodic nature of this track.
“Passer” will be easily remembered for the fascinating shimmering guitar work that delivers eloquent dynamic style diversity embracing a breathless rhythm further adorned by kaleidoscopic keyboards layers as Rekse’s vocal performance adds an overdose of disarming sentiments.
Once again, with “The Fall Of Hearts” Katatonia delivers a mature piece of music filled with minimalist effortless beauty and moody emotional depth that will easily reach the heart of every listener.