Katatonia
Sanctitude


4.5
superb

Review

by DungeonBoy USER (10 Reviews)
October 24th, 2018 | 15 replies


Release Date: 03/30/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tonight's Music

Katatonia have undoubtedly had one of the more interesting evolutions in the history of music. Starting off as death/doom metal band with Dance of December Souls, and slowly shifting to a cleaner, more progressive style in the latter half of their career, they have proven their ability to consistently produce atmospherically melancholic albums with enough progressive elements to keep each release sounding refreshing, yet dark at the same time. Through the darkness, however, there has always been a certain beauty that peaks through the dismal cracks. After releasing their landmark album, Dead End Kings, they hit the road in May 2014 to play a series of “Unplugged & Reworked” shows that aimed to showcase the band in a stripped down and more intimate acoustic setting. Each venue was specifically chosen to pair with their musical vision of the tour and in the candle-lit hall of London’s Union Chapel, Sanctitude was born.

To label this release as merely “stripped down” wouldn’t do it justice. While in the absence of a full drum kit and distorted guitars, a vast array of other instruments including acoustic/electric guitars, synths, programmed drums, shakers, bongos, and cymbals are harmoniously blended together to revitalize Katatonia’s back catalog in a new light. At the heart of it all is the powerfully emotive vocals of Jonas Renkse that couldn’t have sounded better than they did that night. Every sung note resonates beautifully amidst the rhythmic sections tying it all together. In addition, Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief) also lends his masterful talents on guitar and backup vocals, which compliment Jonas’ perfectly and really help accentuate the vibrancy of several moments throughout the set.

Seventeen songs spanning across their impressive catalog, from Brave Murder Day through Dead End Kings, were carefully chosen and effectively placed in order to create a well-balanced listen for all Katatonia fans to enjoy. While all of the songs are rearranged to accommodate the chosen instruments, there are a couple songs that unfortunately don’t translate into this setting as well as their originals (One Year From Now for example), but for the most part Sanctitude is an incredible experience from start to finish over its generous 80 minute runtime. Over several listens I surprisingly found myself enjoying a handful of these reworked tracks more than their originals.

Sanctitude manages to capture Katatonia’s vision almost flawlessly. Every instrument, transition, and addition is so well crafted and thought out that it produces an album that for me is deeply impactful, and an almost essential addition to their full-length discography. While some acoustic tours can sometimes come across as a cool attempt at trying something new, it just works too well with Katatonia’s music and exceptional talent compared to their peers, if such a thing even exists.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DungeonBoy
October 24th 2018


5645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album needed a review so here you go. If you are a fan of anything this band has done, check this out, it's incredible.

Digging: Aephanemer - Prokopton

PatternsInTheIvy
October 24th 2018


192 Comments


Great review of a phenomenal live set. This is probably one of my favorite live albums actually... hearing their stuff unplugged is just as good (if not better occasionally) than in the studio

PatternsInTheIvy
October 24th 2018


192 Comments


Just one thing though:

"Katatonia have undoubtedly had one of the more interesting evolutions in the history of music."

Idk, I'd probably delegate that to a specific genre instead of a broad statement like "the history of music." Maybe if you put down "rock music" or "metal," it could come off as less hyperbolic.

Flugmorph
October 24th 2018


20813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw this live in a church, incredible experience.

Digging: La Dispute - Panorama

DungeonBoy
October 24th 2018


5645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Idk, I'd probably delegate that to a specific genre instead of a broad statement like "the history of music." Maybe if you put down "rock music" or "metal," it could come off as less hyperbolic."



I initially had it as "metal" instead of "music", but since the next sentence said "death/doom metal" right afterwards I changed it for the sake of sounding redundant but thanks for the suggestion.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2018


15112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, props for reviewing this Dungeon, amazing live set and sound and your review was on point. Easy pos.

Digging: Deafkids - Metaprogramao

Beardog
October 25th 2018


2730 Comments


Always wanted to check this out one time, gonna do it today!

DungeonBoy
October 25th 2018


5645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks everybody!



@Flug super jealous man! that's amazing

Flugmorph
October 25th 2018


20813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they had freakin candles everywhere i tell ya, everywhere!

bnelso55
October 25th 2018


1323 Comments


Great review. This band has produced so much good music, but I have yet to hear this. I'll listen to it today. Thanks for pointing me to it!

DungeonBoy
October 25th 2018


5645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers bnelso! curious to hear your thoughts, I really think you'll enjoy the more intimate performance on here. It was very effective for me, and the way it's recorded makes you feel like you're right there in the room with them.

bnelso55
October 25th 2018


1323 Comments


Just wrapped up hearing this for the first time. It hit the spot for me. I like a lot of what Katatonia has done, but I think their songwriting style is so well-suited for this sort of performance. I didn't even find myself missing those towering riffs.

lalchimiste
October 25th 2018


1082 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"...more intimidate acoustic setting."

yeah intimidation is no fun ;)



I totally agree with the review, the arrangements are extremely well done and Jonas really shines throughout. You can just feel the atmosphere of the candlelit church setting through the speakers. Another (obvious) record that shares the same mood and excellence in my opinion is Opeth's Damnation.



"Over several listens I surprisingly found myself enjoying a handful of these reworked tracks more than their originals."

Also could not agree more! Props for the nice review



Digging: Wake - Misery Rites

DungeonBoy
October 26th 2018


5645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hah, thanks, fixed it (:

PyramidNoise
February 19th 2019


271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

100% agree with the rating. Depending on my mood this is my favourite Katatonia record. I never expected to enjoy an "acoustic" live album so much, but here we are.

Digging: Venom Prison - Samsara



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