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Shoegaze Metal - 98%

Dark_Mewtwo1, June 16th, 2006

I seriously have tried extremely hard to find something wrong with this album. I don't know what it is, but this album is near perfect to me. Even though many people consider any albums past Brave Murder Day/Sounds of Decay crap, I think they are depriving themselves on some of the best music I've heard, which I lovingly dub "shoegaze metal".

From the opening track, Dispossession, you get a sense that this album is going to be very disassociative atmosphere-wise and very depressing lyric-wise. The music follows the shoegaze style, with the two guitars playing two slightly different guitar patterns which match up at certain intervals, and drums that keep the song stable. Jonas' vocals really stand out to me in this album, because they are pretty quiet in the mix compared to other latter-day Katatonia albums, but it suits the feel of this album perfectly. There are some great bass parts throughout the album as well, my favorite being the bass lines played in the background during the pre-chorus on Passing Bird.

Each of the songs on this album have a slightly different feel to them, but all share a common theme of depression. Chrome has a slight "broken heart" atmosphere surrounding it, while I Transpire, my favorite song off of the album, has more of a disassociating feel to it. But even though each song has it's own "soul", per se, the 11 songs flow perfectly from one to the next, so you don't have to interrupt your listening to skip to the next track. It's that good.

Some of the notable parts for me include the chorus to I Transpire, with the keyboard/organ playing in the background, the guitars creating a sort of wash that helps bring out those keyboard melodies, and Jonas' depressing voice just mixing together, it sounds amazing to my ears. Clean Today's riff sounds crunchy and very metal, while Passing Bird's guitar parts sound more sludgy. And while I noticed that a lot of people didn't like it, I love the electronic drum thing on We Must Bury You, it's something that you really wouldn't expect from Katatonia, yet they do it and (at least IMO) do it convincingly.

Sadly, the only thing I knocked off the two points for is the beginning part of Sweet Nurse, which sounds too upbeat compared to the rest of the album. I like the sound of it, but I feel it's out of place. Everything else in this album to me is perfect, from the vocals to the extra keyboard melodies placed throughout, this is definitely one of my all time favorite albums, and I hope many of you can enjoy this for what it is, not flog it for what the band was.