Review Summary: Darkness.8 of 9 thought this review was well written
Once, I stared at the evening sky alone. I didn't have a girlfriend like I do now - I didn't have hope at all. Everything was an adolescent youth, everything was swathed in darkness - the shroud of a new winter enveloping the world, a street light drowned in the cold. A moon obscured by clouds. It could have been day, but I don't remember - I grabbed the bottle and drank. My alcoholic tendency a bitter recrimination for my body - sinking and spiralling into nothing, I drowned in thoughts even moreso than I did before. I was nothing - an insignificant speck on the face of the earth, a lonely molecule floating in the vacuum of space, a blip on the radar of the universe.
I turned on the sound. I played an album by Katatonia - as its bleak, cold tones (not so much harsh as just deeply morose) swept through existence, I felt empowered. If I could take the leap, this empowered me to do it. This cold voice spurred me on, breaking my heart into a dozen pieces, shattering my hopes, my dreams, my love - I truly saw a darkness coming. And unclear I would watch the ravens pass, the soul would not speak; I breathed not. I did not want be here anymore. But still on the brink of the moment, I chose not to pass - not the divinity inspired me that my task was not yet completed, nothing even knows - perhaps in a bleak desolate area, there is still the hope for change in life.
Nothing much has changed since then. Life is ever-changing, and people are mere passers-by on a floating sphere in the middle of the universe. We are but nothing, and we associate ourselves with family not by choice or morality but convention. We have sex by convention. Everything is ultimately a lustful, hedonistic purpose; a blanket to drown out that we have no purpose and no love and no hope to make us set one foot after the other. We have lost the spiritual walk, and those that claim God is a source of light in the darkness are misguided in their follies of arbitrariness and faith. And Katatonia's darkness plays upon this very measure of despair, not so much concerned with stylistic constraints as it is with forming the atmosphere of pure oppression as every day I feel my doom drawing nearer. A measure of my hopelessness is to compare the amount of plays of Katatonia that I have had that day. I will slip into that frame of mind one day - catatonic - and believe me, I will only then be engulfed in the darkness they offer.
Katatonia will use everything to make you feel like your guts will strangle you out of misery. Psychedelic folk ("Idle Blood") reminded of Opethian vocal lines will softly soothe you. Forsaker takes a Meshuggah-ish riff and beats it into your head, as were they aiming to storm it into you and breathe it gently over you afterwards. Electronica, string instruments, Jonas' voice of utter gloom and depression - all of it is encapsulated in such a way that you will be dead by the end of it and enjoy the new night. We are all departers - only differ in our rate of coming and leaving. We are blips on a universal camera, and Katatonia know it - they will reinforce it at every corner.
I still stare at the sky. I have had changes in my life, become more hopeless, sought help, trying to find my feet - but when I am broken, Katatonia is a constant in my life. And every album they release features a variation on the themes of darkness, another way to show you that depression is all around us. I may be together for a while. But I am mortal, purposeless, without a clue, and when I am such, I indulge in this. Please indulge yourself when you are of a similar mood.