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Katatonia review for Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Katatonia decided to shake things up on their 2000 follow up to the brilliant 'Tonight’s Decision' this time loosing their last vestiges of Metal and going instead for a Darker Alternative sound. This album continues to receive mixed reviews to this day.
The production is solid and a few steps above their past two releases. The guitars are very melodic as the bulk of the heaviness is gone. There is a growly/fuzzy/dirty sound to them. The guitarists utilize a lot of effects and to surprisingly good effect. There are no solos but lots leads; this is perhaps one of the few familiar things carried over from the bands Metal days. The trademarked melancholy is in full swing here. The bands 'The Cure' influence is clearly rearing is sad head on this album as well.
The bass is all the heaviness on this album. Its heavy is the bottom end heaviness that the bulk of the Nu-Metal crowed used to get their “would-be” heaviness. The drums on the other hand are amazing, pushing the bands rhythm section to places it has never been before. They are beyond tight, precise and creative. They are truly the highlight on this record.
The vocals are at their emotional peak here with Jonas really trying to find his voice. Over all what he tries to do isn't too bad. He doesn't fall flat but it’s clear he's not sure what he's doing in a few places. The lyrics are also a step up from anything they've been to this point. Either they've taken English classes or they've started paying attention to what they're saying.
Despite a love for the bands older works this album can and does hold its own as this album is a total grower. There are a lot of good ideas here and the atmosphere is as bleak as on past three albums. This is by far the bands "saddest" release as well with the vocals only adding to the sorrow. This is a beautiful album and shouldn't be as good as it is.