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I find no flaws. - 100%

ozzeh, September 5th, 2018

This album has helped me through more difficult times than any other I can recall. The dark atmosphere matches the darkness of my moods the past several years, and while it is true that Katatonia have certainly always had a penchant for "depressing" music their entire career, this to me is the pinnacle of dark metal.

Now while you have many sub-genres of dark metal ranging from funeral doom to suicidal/depressive black metal, Brave Murder Day is anomalous in the sense that there really is not any other album quite like it in terms of oppressive musical melancholy. To me it's the embodiment of winter after having your heart smashed into a billion pieces, something I know all too well, something this album has helped me through.

While I am not wont to classify it as death metal or doom, or in any pigeon-holed sense, to me it's a bittersweet descent into the maelstrom of despair itself featuring Mikael's harsh vocals which certainly lend themselves to the greatness of "Brave Murder Day" but where the Opeth of this era featured more progressive elements, Katatonia aim for sheer droning atmosphere.

But that's not to say that the musicianship isn't stellar it's just to say that technical pyrotechnics are not the point. The driving riffs blend seamlessly into one another, almost effortlessly like from "Brave" to "Murder" to "Day", in the song track listing. Indeed, it almost seems like a concept album but what separates this from other albums is that it's not trying to tell a story so much as express a feeling.

And that feeling is darkness. Atmospherically the production captures the bleak paradigm so present in Brave Murder Day that the two go hand-in-hand, atmosphere and production, that you cannot mention one without the other. Every instrument is lucid and discernible from the other with a special emphasis on lush rhythm guitar tone, hypnotic bass, and simplistic yet efficient d-beat style drums.

The song "Day" opens with clean vocals and beautiful clean-toned arpeggios. The metallic sensibilities are put on hold in lieu of that sweet melancholic sound which has been the driving force behind Katatonia's entire output since Brave Murder Day.

I really cannot find any other album quite like Brave Murder Day but if I were to blindly grasp for comparisons I'd say Opeth's "Orchid" and Edge of Sanity's "Crimson". And while undoubtedly they're all three monumental classics in their own right, there's just a certain replayability to Brave Murder Day that I really haven't found elsewhere. No matter what mood I am in, no matter what time of year, no matter what circumstances surround me, Brave Murder Day soothes me.

And maybe that's because I easily identify with depression, despair, and sweet melancholy but metal releases like this are rare and the beauty of the song segues like as in "Rainroom" from the droning, croning death metal to clean-swept and clean-sung vocals back to the soaring leads is what makes Brave Murder Day so timeless.

This album never gets old to me, I keep it in my steady listening rotation constantly, do you want to know why?

Because it helps me accept things I cannot accept. It brings a psychical release for me which no other music can, save for Mozart's "Requiem". A flawless masterpiece in my eyes, but hey, to each his own.