Review Summary: Katatonia of old.
I felt that it was necessary to review this because there was no mention of these tracks on the other “Brave Murder Day” album. Originally released after the debut” Dance Of December Souls" in 1994, Katatonia released an EP that contains 4 tracks and is the last disk to feature Jonas performing the harsh vocals for the band. Later on in time as Century Media re released "Brave Murder Day, they decided to put this EP at the end of the album, giving more bang for your buck to those fans wanting to hear more of their old material. This EP has 4 tracks, although 2 are full songs and the other two are technically instrumentals. The sound of Katatonia on this EP still displayed the Doom Metal elements typical to their sound at the time when Dance Of "December Souls" and "Brave Murder Day" were released. The tempos remained at a slow to mid stance, the riffs were highly melodic yet heavy, and the vocals were pretty intense, far from the new direction they decided tot take.
The 2 main tracks, Funeral Wedding and Shades Of Emerald Fields would not feel out of place from the albums I just talked about, due to the similar structures they posses. Now I was never fully aware with what Blackheim or Jonas had contributed vocally on their debut album but I can tell you with confidence that they surpasse Akerfeldt's contributions on "Brave Murder Day" without question, which to be honest isn't that easy of a task. Blackheim contributes a large portion of the aggressive vocals while Jonas chimes in occasionaly as he focues on the drum work. His harsh vocals are filled with fury and unbound desperation. I can even hear traces of Black Metal in his voice when he hits his higher notes, as shown perfectly on the latter section of "Funeral Wedding". His singing has been barred to a minimum on the EP, beginning the slow process of rearranging their sound from the bleak, scathing music they used to play and into a clearer, more commercialized Gothic Rock style. The guitar work from Blackheim is just as solid in providing a catchy rhythm or a jaw dropping solo here as he plays on "Brave Murder Day". The drum work is good for the most part , which is pretty remarkable to play the kit and sing the vocals. At parts, the double bass can be annoying but you get accustomed to it pretty quickly. One thing that surprised me greatly was that the bass plays actually plays a role and can be heard cleanly through the whole mix, as "Funeral Wedding" has a pretty cool bass line.
The last two tracks on this EP are the instrumentals For Funerals To Come and Epistel which are still pretty cool despite being cut in length. For Funerals To Come opens up with a clean guitar riff when at one point some speaking vocals come in. Epistel opens up with a variety of creepy wind sounds that in a distance you can hear some unintelligible and slightly crazed vocals adding to the chaos. All in all, this is a pretty solid EP that fans of the older Katatonia will enjoy. It's not that long of an EP, clocking in around the 18 minute mark, so those who don't have Brave Murder Day yet, I suggest you buy it because you will receive an awesome album with a great EP as an added bonus.