The Katatonia that never was. The Sounds Of Decay EP wasn’t well known, and it fell inbetween the releases of Brave Murder Day and Discouraged Ones, their more misunderstood records at the time, so it’s no wonder this got so little attention. It’s a shame really, as this is probably one of their best releases. It was a new sound somewhat comparable to the style of Brave Murder Day but in a completely different direction. The band started to write with more conventional structures, at least in comparison, and less repetition. The end result was a brand new atmosphere, one that will unfortunately remain dormant forever. Oh, Mikael Akerfeldt does the vocals again, if that keeps your attention.
The songs are all a little over six minutes, aside from Untrue, and each reside in their own world. For example, Nowhere plays like a soundtrack to a man’s mind in mental comatose, and sees the band experiment with moods they can create with guitar patterns. Just as Brave Murder Day experimented with harmonized guitar melodies that literally carried the song, this EP takes it even further, and foreshadows the signature leads the band would write songs around in the future. Plus, Mikael’s vocal performance is his strongest yet. Whether this is due to the atmosphere or actual truth, they fit perfectly.
Katatonia’s album art has always been a significant representation of the album’s sound. For whatever reason, the front cover screenshot of a decrepit god, taken from the horror movie Begotten, just fits the EP’s sound. The tracks are smothering in a most deceiving manner, just like a tapeworm you never knew was there is slowly killing you from the inside out. Untrue is this album’s disease. It’s serene, spellbinding, repetitive intro drags you away from reality where you are forced to remember only the agony of your past…suddenly you get a sledgehammer to your face, and all you can do is watch your killer laugh at you while you shiver. Then the song retreats to the intro once again, the lullaby of your passing.
Since the EP is nearly impossible to find for a reasonable price, I suggest you pick up the Brave Yester Days compilation, which contains all their early EPs. Plus, the original Sounds Of Decay didn’t come with the Untrue track, but comes with Brave Yester Days so this method is more fulfilling. For anyone who thoroughly enjoys depressing music, this is highly recommended. The sound of this album only lasted for these 4 songs, and cannot be matched, leaving you starving for more. Kind of an asshole move on the bands’ part, but what can you do? The release that gives Brave Murder Day a run for its money, don’t miss out on this.