Katatonia
Brave Murder Day


5.0
classic

Review

by Suicide Boy 777 USER (202 Reviews)
November 10th, 2007 | 75 replies | 9,307 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A roaring hybrid of Gothic/Doom Metal done to perfection.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Although Katatonia has completely revamped their sound in the more recent years, far from where they started at, they had in my opinion, created a masterpiece with their 1996 Opus, "Brave Murder Day". Back when they had harsh vocals in the mix, Katatonia played a Doom Metal hybrid wrapping around a solid Gothic Rock foundation, relying less on Jonas's clean singing and more on harsh screams. Unlike "The Great Cold Distance", Katatonia had produced longer songs with much more detail and adding various elements unseen from recent times towards the music.

One reason why this might be Katatonia's popular albums is because of Mikael Akerfeldt's contributions to this project. I can say that once again, Akerfeldt delivers a fine performance, delivering all the harsh vocals on this album with remarkable passion. Jonas Renske had taken a backseat towards Katatonia's sound early, providing minimal opportunities with his clean voice. Although his voice isn't primarily featured throughout the disk, he does an excellent job when given his opportunity to shine. The track, "Day" features all clean vocals courtesy of him. This is also a track where the guitarist's shine as well, laying down repetitive melodic riffs capable of entrancing the listener upon listen. Although the riffing is never really heavy or technical at any point , it is done extremely well in providing a dark atmosphere for the vocals. Blackheim and Norrman paint a bleak picture of depression and melancholy with repetitive riffs that never get to the point of boring the listener. On this album, Jonas is the bands drummer, singing as well as providing a solid foundation of the band with his assortment of drum fills and double bass.

" Brave Murder Day" can be summarized as having basic Gothic Rock riffing merging with Death Metal growling. As much as I would like to say that Akerfeldt's performance is the standout here, I'd be lying. Hand's down, this goes to Blackheim and Norrman for creating such beauty with their instruments. Tempos remain slow to mid throughout, keeping balance, and never sacrificing speed for subtlety. Blackheim manages to create highly infectious melodies with ease as Norrman holds down the rhythm of the music. The lack of heaviness is made up with tight musicianship and songwriting. Many instrumental sections peak their way through, giving room away from the voice towards the music itself. Mikael Akerfeldt has a fine performance here. Adding his powerful roar to perfection, somewhat offsetting the rock vibe into something darker. Drumming is never fast here, Jonas just provides the background with basic rock patterns. That's not to say that it is bad in any way, just that they don’t stand out as much as the other instruments. Bass cannot be heard much as it is drowned out for the most part.

All in all, Katatonia have created an essential album for the Gothic/ Doom Metal genres. Heavy on the atmosphere, complete with mesmerizing guitar melodies and harsh/clean vocals executed to perfection, Katatonia have created an album for the ages. Since their early days towards the future, they have managed to create a masterpiece on such a level where they will never come close to again. Anyone into the darker and more melodic side of Metal should find this a very enjoyable album. This in my opinion is a perfect album describing a sharp and crystal clear image of sadness.

Blackheim – guitars, bass guitar
Jonas Renkse – drums, clean vocals
Fredrik Norrman – guitars
Mikael Akerfeldt – death vocals

Pros:

Strong vocal performance from Jonas and Mikael

Excellent Guitar work


Cons:

Length of songs might turn some off.

Bass is nonexistent



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Zoo
November 10th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, Balls. I just can't seem to get into this album. I think this could be considered dark metal.

And I edited my review, if you want to take a look.

BallsToTheWall
November 10th 2007



44197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, you should give this another try. Give it a bit of time and you'll love this. Truly an awesome piece of work.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Angmar
November 10th 2007



2689 Comments


Dance of December Souls is way better.

This is still a good album but it has some boring parts and I prefer Jonas's vocals to Mikes.

Zoo
November 10th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=Angmar]I prefer Jonas's vocals to Mikes.[/quote]
On this album, or in general?

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 10th 2007



3743 Comments


Good review, man. I didn't know about this, but with Akerfeldt attached, I'm interested.

Nostalgia
November 10th 2007



64 Comments


Nice review, Balls.


Hahaha, that just sounds funny.

Altmer
November 11th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

These two bands are like best friends. (Katatonia and Opeth, that is.)

And I need this.This Message Edited On 11.11.07

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2007



16315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, I still don't own this.

Willie
Moderator
November 11th 2007



15914 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was going to say that it's good to see you writing reviews again, and then I noticed that I somehow missed your last one completely... so, it's still good to see you writing them again, but apparently you started again earlier then I thought ;)... got my vote.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

BallsToTheWall
November 11th 2007



44197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been on somewhat of a drought lately. Havent heard as much that inspired me. Might have to branch out a bit, I still need to expand my Folk Metal, Ensiferum,etc.

Altmer
November 11th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Check some stuff outside metal, man. It might do you good.

Zoo
November 11th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^Agreed.^

Epilogue
November 11th 2007



1591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=Altmer]These two bands are like best friends. (Katatonia and Opeth, that is.)[/quote]

Hmm...I thought that was more like Poecupine Tree and Opeth? Good review, I do throughly enjoy this album, but I've been listening to LFDGD more lately...

Shattered_Future
November 11th 2007



1540 Comments


I don't like this album at all. Their later stuff is much, much better in my eyes...

Wizard
November 11th 2007



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review! I've only heard their newer albums so I will have to check this out one day!

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

rasputin
January 11th 2008



14540 Comments


I always liked this more than Dance of December Souls but for the past year or so I'm undecided on which is better. I don't think this is a 5 though. Still a good review.

BallsToTheWall
January 11th 2008



44197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I could see how, although I have never heard Dance Of December Souls yet, which could be why I enjoy this so much.

Wizard
June 17th 2009



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review! I've only heard their newer albums so I will have to check this out one day 11.11.07

So that day has finally come and I'm really, really like this the first time through. Review was excellent the second time through as well.



silkforcalde
June 17th 2009



404 Comments


i give this album a 5 easily

one of my 10 favorite metal albums ever

Wizard
June 17th 2009



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Better have some Opeth in your top 10!



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