Katatonia
Tonight's Decision


4.0
excellent

Review

by Seth T. White (Cravinov13) USER (61 Reviews)
August 15th, 2006 | 28 replies | 12,939 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Katatonia is a Swedish doom metal band that formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1991. Katatonia is best known as one of the pioneering bands for the emotionally depressed and brutal yet slow doom metal genre. Katatonia is also one of those bands that have made a great progression from earlier work to later work, starting off as a brutal death doom band (in which two of there albums featured Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt on harsh vocals) to a more mellow, lighter form of the doom metal genre (which some people like to call ‘depressed rock’). Tonight’s Decision is the second full length album by the band in which they have adopted their more lighthearted sound (the album is their fourth full length in all). The album has a very melancholy feel to it, yet it still delivers some nice, heavy, doomy riffs and sad vocals that make Katatonia one of the leaders of the underground genre.

The album opens up with the soft, progressive tunes of For My Demons, which quickly kick into heavier riffs which show the band’s skills at the guitar have not diminished since they’ve adopted their lighter sound. The song is very mellow vocally, with Jonas Renkse singing a very falsetto tune. The song has some very catchy tunes and the chorus is a good attention grabber as the heavy riffs kick back in when Jonas Renkse uses some amazing vocal talent. The song is a good opener and a perfect example of what most of the album is, and ends up being one o the better songs in the long run. I Am Nothing is the next track, starting with some dark bass grooves and a mellow drum beat. The singing fits very well in the thick atmosphere of the track, and as the heavy riffs kick in for a few seconds, you know the song is going to give you more then just a slow paced, steady track. The chorus is delivers some amazing, fast yet steady riffs and bass grooves leading some amazing singing by Jonas Renkse. Overall the song is another great, ‘hard rock meets doom metal’ heavy hitter.

In Death, A Song kicks off with some heavy, catchy riffs that leads straight into more of Jonas Renkse's operatic singing style. The song has a good flow and has a good, dense atmosphere to it. The song lacks major dynamics like the first two tracks, but still delivers a pretty catchy chorus tune even it’s straightforward guitar riffs that stay throughout. Had To (Leave) is another track with slow and heavy doom riffs that bring on some of the more bluntly depressed lyrics that did not show so much in the other songs. The song’s bridges are lot more dynamic then the chorus of the song, delivering some rather spazzy guitar work and up beat yet depressed vocals. Musically the sing stands out the most on the album with its’ apocalyptic sounding riffs and keyboard back drop that show why this band defines doom metal, but vocally the track could be a lot more dynamic.

Another mellow track like the first song is This Punishment, which starts off with some soft guitar strums and mellow singing. The song is short and very straightforward but has a nice, soft guitar solo put into it, giving it a very calm atmosphere that is nice and soothing to the ears. After some very mystic sounding guitar riffs kick in to Right Into The Bliss, the song jumps into a nice, heavy groove that suddenly stops into a slow guitar strum which leads back into more heavy riffs backed up by Jonas Renkse’s singing. The song has some amazing guitar work on it, and the chorus is very catchy and flows well with the music. The song’s atmosphere is very dense as are some of the other tracks, but manages to deliver some of the best guitar and bass grooves on the album. No Good Can Come Of This starts with some soft guitars that lead into some crunchy, heavy riffs that spazz a bit before exiting, leading into a very soft, mellow tune before kicking back on again. The chorus to the song has a good swinging groove to it that makes a good flow even with the spazzy guitar riffs in the bridges. The song is one of the more unique on the album, but still manages to hit hard.

Strained kicks off with some heavy drum lines and guitar riffs and backing vocals that remind me a lot of Amorphis (another death/ doom band that has not lost it’s heaviness). The song has a good atmosphere to it and the singing is some of the best on the album and fit well with the catchy guitar riffs. The keyboard used in the track is rather hard to notice, but helps give the song some what of an Egyptian vibe to it (especially when the solo kicks in). Another mellow, dark track is A Darkness Coming, which starts off with soft guitar strums that stay throughout the track. The singing gives the song a nice, depressed vibe to it as well. The song picks up halfway with more heavier riffs and a wicked guitar solo near the end of it. Overall the song could of done better if it kept it’s more mellow, acoustic sound all the way through while still keeping the solo.

Nightmare By The Sea is another upbeat song that starts off with slow riffs that kick into very jumpy, heavier riffs. The song focuses a lot more on the bass and drum grooves in the bridges, which give it a unique feel. The chorus doesn’t real do much for me since it lacks a lot of the catchiness the other songs have, but the guitar grooves make up for most of the song. The epic tunes of Black Session start off with some light guitar strums that lead into some very heavy, distorted riffs that really bring back that doom feel to the album. The song is very heavy but still has that mellow feel to it as Jonas Renkse sings his heart out all over the track. The progressive feel to the song gives it a good atmosphere and flow that makes it stand out as a good, heavy hitter that is perfect to end the album. Overall, Tonight’s Decision is a good, solid album and is perfect for any doom metal fan or any one who is pitifully depressed and wants to put on some music to fit his/ her mood.

Pros
-- Good vocals and musicianship (especially for a mellow doom band).
-- Great, dense atmospheres and album flow.
-- Good album production (especially for a doom metal band).

Cons
-- The lyrics are pitifully depressing.
-- All the songs for the most part sound a lot a like and require a couple of listens before one can really get used to it.

Track Listing
1. For My Demons (5/5)
2. I Am Nothing (4.5/5)
3. In Death, A Song (4/5)
4. Had To (Leave) (4/5)
5. This Punishment (3.5/5)
6. Right Into The Bliss (5/5)
7. No Good Can Come Of This (3.5/5)
8. Strained (4.5/5)
9. A Darkness Coming (3.5/5)
10. Nightmare By The Sea (3.5/5)
11. Black Session (4/5)
*The 2003 rerelease of the album also contains two bonus tracks, No Devotion and Fractured.*



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Brain Dead
August 15th 2006



1150 Comments


Nice job on the review Cravinov. Two reveiws of Katatonia in one day? You must like these guys.

Cravinov13
August 15th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm diggin em' now. I had these CDs burnt for a long time, and never really gave them a listen. Once I saw two of the guys in Katatonia are in Bloodbath, I gave them a good listen and really got into them.

Det_Nosnip
August 15th 2006



374 Comments


They're a sweet band for sure. BTW, males can't sing soprano...I think that the word you're looking for is falsetto.

Cravinov13
August 15th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, right. Thanks. I was thinking Theatre Of Tragedy when I said that.

Cravinov13
August 15th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wanted to get them in at the same time cause I'm cool like that. B)

TheDevilsOwn
August 15th 2006



91 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is pretty good. I miss the Opeth growls though.

Altmer
December 15th 2006



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't miss Opeth growls, clean singing is the shit.

Awesome shit, by the way.

spoon_of_grimbo
May 2nd 2007



2240 Comments


you know "nightmares by the sea" is a jeff buckley cover right? and a pretty good one tbh, although not as good as the original.

great review though, i'm tempted to go get this. or i would be if all my cash wasn't about to be handed over a bar in the next few hours... but meh.

Altmer
May 2nd 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yes, I do

oh wait this was the other review /smackThis Message Edited On 05.02.07

FR33L0RD
September 24th 2007



1458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album, need a couple listening session to grew on me.
guitar sound is really unique.

BallsToTheWall
September 24th 2007



44164 Comments


This one is my favorite from katatonia along with brave murder day.

TheHamburgerman
January 23rd 2008



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And now for something completely different... a good Katatonia album.

kveldulf57
June 1st 2008



49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

your review is absolutely accurate! despite of the terrible lyrics (a trademark of katatonia) the gloomy atmosphere and some great songs (my demons and i m nothin) makes it a must have!


Altmer
June 2nd 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the lyrics kick ass

fireaboveicebelow
June 2nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=kveldulf57]despite of the terrible lyrics (a trademark of katatonia)[/quote]I hope you die from a slow brain cancer

Willie
Moderator
June 2nd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is the only one of their albums with all clean singing that I don't really like that much.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

fireaboveicebelow
June 2nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

after hearing these songs live I figured it's the production lowered this album's value

Willie
Moderator
June 2nd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, the production does have a lot to do with it.

CrazyFool84
November 17th 2008



1078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Why is this album listed in the 2001 releases when it's from 1999?

Altmer
November 17th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The production on this album rules. It's really bleak and raw. I love the whole vibe this gives off (it's one of my favourite Katatonia records.)



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