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"The Great Cold Distance" is definitely a great title for this release by one of Sweden's most premier and definitive musical outfits, who have created music that deserves much more 'praise' than what has been given, some would argue. They may not be as premier as other well known Swedish acts like say, ABBA (yeah... ABBA) for instance. A group whom have sold millions of records worldwide, but none the less, the follow up to Katatonia's full-length album "Viva Emptiness" is definitely worthy of some attention when it comes to quality 'heartfelt' music. That being said, what is it that makes this album such a treat of depressive sadness to listen to? Well, there are several things one would be able to appreciate when listening to this release.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the music presented on TGCD the listener will pick up is that it provides an amazing atmosphere in which pain, despair, and solitude are brought forward and thrown straight into your face. Or ears, if that's a better way of putting it. Sadness is definitely a big issue here, as is the case with most of Katatonia's past efforts. There is a noticeable change on TGCD, which is expected from a band like Katatonia who have a 'thing' (a very good thing) for constantly evolving their sound, in which to produce something better than their last. The songs are more or less in the same manner of past releases, mainly continuing with the same formula that can be found on the "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" and "Viva Emptiness" and even as far back as "Discouraged Ones". What the TGCD does differently than the before mentioned releases is it comes off as a little more "heavier" for most of the tracks, which makes the TGCD a little more aggressive in its entirety. While still retaining the lyrical pessimism Jonas Renske is known for contributing, molding both the aggressive and clean natures together almost perfectly.
Although not bringing anything completely new to the table with TGCD, Katatonia still manage to offer an incredibly solid and well structured effort with this one. The musicianship is second to known, and backs up the argument made by some who deem Katatonia one of the best bands around still making the kind of tunes they play. Fans of Katatonia's past creations will surely listen to this release with great appreciation, as well as those who may be getting their first taste of this Swedish outfit's brand of music. Katatonia have definitely come a long way since their fantastic debut "Dance of December Souls", and have still yet to release an album that doesn't hold a certain place within someone who truly enjoys their 'katatonic' sound, and "The Great Cold Distance" is no different.