Katatonia "The Great Cold Distance" CDPosted on Friday, April 28th, 2006 @ 11:24am » permalink
This is not a "review" of Katatonia's latest Peaceville release, "The Great Cold Distance"… and I am somewhat insane… and this post will probably reveal that on several levels. Oh well. Lately I find myself joking around a lot about the fact that I might actually hate anyone who doesn't like this band. That's an exaggerated and ignorant statement, I know, though of course it's in jest, but at the same time… there's a certain illogically functioning portion of my brain that truly cannot fathom the possibility that there are actually people out there that find no value in Katatonia's music. It should really come as no surprise since I feel that the vast majority of human beings are worthless, but what can I say? Over the last 10 years (I didn't discover them until "Brave Murder Day") Katatonia has steadily grown to become my favorite contemporary band, in addition to securing a firm position in my all time top five. I've undoubtedly listened to these guys more than any other band in the past couple of years, and I've listened to this record at least once a day almost every single day since I bought it (the day it was released, of course). That's quite a feat considering that I have one of the worst attention spans in the history of existence, and it is extremely rare for me to find a band that I can listen to so frequently without burning out on 'em.
I'm not posting any full tracks from this record because there seems to have been an oddly tight grip on the promotion of the release and I don't want to piss anyone off, so I'm attempting to use rather brief snippets of a few tunes to win some of you over since there are simply too many amazing songs herein – and the first single, "My Twin", while damn good, is not at all the best track on the disc. In fact, I'm not even really going to talk much about the music, because the production and everything is just flawless, I'm just going to let the samples speak for themselves to those of you unfamiliar with the band, because I don't even know how to describe them at this point. Sure, they're a "metal" band and it's "dark" or whatever, but… there's just nothing aside from listening yourself that accurately portrays this music with the proper magnitude. Upon my first listen "Soil's Song" and closer "Journey Through Pressure" were the only two tracks that really killed me ("Soil's Song" is still easily my favorite, and ranks as one of the band's finest moments to date), but within a few days' time it became increasingly clear that there are a number of incredible tracks here – they just take a little time sink in. It's just all about the feel with this band, there's something about the emotion and atmosphere of their music that hits me like no other band whatsoever. Everyone should listen to this band at least once. Everyone.
Now, Katatonia is insane on many levels – beyond that of being insanely awesome – and one of these is their tendency to relegate inconceivably brilliant material to B-sides on singles and whatnot. The fallout of this unfortunate (but ultimately tolerable) circumstance results in various collection sets that are jammed full of unnecessary album tracks rather than putting out one ultimately comprehensive (and affordable) compilation of all of the band's non-album B-sides and rarities or what have you. And sadly (though, again, ultimately tolerably), I have to profess that in my opinion the most grievous sin of all has been committed with the first single EP ("My Twin") from "The Great Cold Distance", because the B-side track "Dissolving Bonds" is one of the most masterful compositions in Katatonia's history and absolutely should have been on the album itself. The single is worth its price for this track alone, and here's another quick sample to prove it:
I really think Katatonia should be fucking huge, because non-metal fans could be all over this even more so than many traditional metal listeners. So buy the damn album:
And if you enjoy the "Dissolving Bonds" sample (How could you not?), buy the single as well, which also has another unreleased track and a "remix" of sorts:
I have this borderline nonsensical expression for certain bands where I say that they make me feel like I want to live and die at the same time, which, as weird as it might seem, is pretty much the highest compliment I could ever pay them. There are only a handful of bands that I've experienced in my lifetime that have hit that level, and Katatonia is right up there. I'm not even kidding when I say that at this point in time if I had to pick only one band to listen to for the rest of my life, Katatonia would be it.