|Katatonia have been together for an incredible 13 years. In that time they have recorded six full-length studio albums plus a vast array of mini- CD's & singles. Using the metal genre as an early template Katatonia have never been a band to stand still or stagnate in any way. As Jim Martin - esteemed scribe with Brit music mag Terrorizer so eloquently asserted: "Katatonia, as with so many truly special bands are all contradictions, still ostensibly a metal band, but purveyors of an understated kind of grandeur that has long outgrown all or any generic restrictions". This short succinct statement says more about the enigmatic Swedes than a 1000 word effort ever could.
The music of Katatonia is never easy to rationalize. How does one describe something so equivocal? Well they are undoubtedly heavy. This heaviness does not come from an obvious place. Their heaviness is more from the structure of the songs & the arduous but reassuring vocal. Think of the darkness generated by the likes of Nick Drake, Will Oldham or PJ Harvey. Katatonia sound nothing like these artists but they do share a similar vision, an effortless flow & simple but personal lyrics.
Very much a live band Katatonia have played Europe many times, hitting the road most recently in 2002, with long time friends Opeth. Their festival appearances range from Sweden's 2000 Decibel Fest to The Milwaukee Metal Fest in the USA.
Viva Emptiness is Katatonia's sixth full-length album & was produced by Nyström & Renkse. The album was recorded @ Soundtrade Studios (part of the 301 group) in their hometown of Stockholm in October/November 2002. Mixed by Jens Bogren with Nyström & Renkse at Studio Kuling A, Örebro, December 2002, with additional editing by Dan Swanö at The Room, Örebro.
To support the album the band will embark on an extensive tour of Europe that kicks off in Finland on 2nd April & takes in Denmark, Germany, Poland (show to be recorded), Hungary, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK, Norway & Sweden.
The support for the Finnish dates will be Lullacry + Pornorphans. To Die For & Daylight Dies will join Katatonia for the rest of the tour.
The artwork for the album was designed by Travis Smith, (famed for his work with Opeth, Devin Townsend, Death, King Diamond & Bloodbath among others), with direction from Katatonia.
Travis told us that he got the idea for the front cover while photographing his daughter playing with her bucket in the back yard. Looking at the pictures gave him an overwhelming sense of grief at the realisation that someday she would lose her innocence - or that something ugly can enter a child's life that they cannot see but carry with them. The bones in the bucket represent this fear; the wing represents an angel - to protect the innocence of the innocent.
Anders had the idea to include the road - he wanted to highlight this fear, on the back cover the road remains but the child is gone. Maybe this symbolises the difficult & dark road to adulthood. You decide. Viva Emptiness.
Official Katatonia biography: http://www.peaceville.com