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Incredible doom release - 97%

FrostOfTheBlack, March 16th, 2007

Katatonia's "Brave Murder Day" is a real classic.

To me BMD does not sound much like doom metal, so it is hard to classify it as such, but it certainly fits some of doom metal's characteristics. I think it would be better described as dark metal because it is doomy, gloomy, melodic, and has some death/black influences as well. Some may disagree with that classification, but it doesn't really matter.

The song structures on BMD are simple, but well-constructed. The opener, "Brave", opens with some feedback to a midpaced guitar riff with equally paced drums. After awhile the music gradually emerges into a different pace with another excellent riff. All the while Michael Akerfeldt's vocals complement the song perfectly. If you are familiar with Akerfeldt's vocal style, it is incredibly deep - just right for this type of music. "Brave" is 10-minutes long, but you'd hardly notice it because it flows so well. The second song "Murder" completely changes the pace, but you get used to it. It features Jonas Renkse on vocals for a different sound, along with slow acoustic riffs that are simple but incredibly haunting. The pace picks up again with some hard-hitting riffs on "Rainroom", some of the best on the album.

Overall the album leaves you realizing how truly talented songwriters the guys from Katatonia are. There's nothing fancy here, no fast solos, no blastbeats, no operatic vocals, no complicated rhythms (though there's nothing wrong with any of those). It's straight-up depressive metal with an excellent combination of clean and harsh vocals that make for an awesome aural experience.

If you get the American version from Century Media, it has the For Funerals To Come EP attached to it, which is excellent as well.

I can probably count on two hands the number of albums I would regard as 95% or greater. This is one of them, and its well-deserved. It is a standard by which all depressive metal bands should compare themselves.