Katatonia - Sounds Of Decay review
|Album:||Sounds Of Decay|
|Release date:||December 1997|
02. At Last
03. Inside The Fall
04. Untrue [2013 reissue bonus]
This three song EP sees Katatonia staying true to the formula found on their previous album, Brave Murder Day, where the band relied on minimalist song structures as a foundation for their themes of solitude and isolation.
The same lineup is present here, with Mikael from Opeth once again handling harsh vocals, which would mean all of the vocals on this EP. For the first time Katatonia would record outside of Dan Swano's Unisound, namely Sunlight Studios with Tomas Skogsberg. And it is the production that really makes an impact on first listen of this disc, as Katatonia's sound would be given a healthy amount of power and heaviness, most noticeable in the drums, where the bass drum can actually be felt as well as heard. The guitars are given a thickness that they've never really had and the whole presentation is very live sounding and heavy.
All three of these songs are outstanding, possessing a bit more urgency in tempo along the lines of "Murder" and "Rainroom" from the previous album. "Nowhere" opens with a slow rhythm decorated by the trademark mournful guitar harmonies picking up in tempo for the verse sections and back to the more doom laden themes. "At Last" is my personal favorite of the three, featuring an immediate tempo and some agonizing vocals (and one of my favorite screams of all time) from Mikael, as well as a couple of clean guitar breaks. "Inside The Fall" explores doomier moments with some truly stunning guitarwork, not to mention one hell of an ending. Fredrik has proven to be a great addition to the ranks of Katatonia, as he an Anders are able to complement each other and also provides further opportunities of expression. The only complaint I have about this is that it is too short. I know that it's only an EP, but before I had this in my possession I spent the entire year of 1997 obsessing over Brave Murder Day and was desperate for something new from these Swedes. I was definitely excited to have Sounds Of Decay, but with a band this good you always crave more. Nevertheless, this EP is rare and out of print as it was limited to a certain amount of copies, which makes this a must for any Katatonia fan. Only three songs, but every one of them essential.
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