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From the river of wailing - 85%

Arkanus, December 23rd, 2015

Once the band released “Dead End Kings” in 2012, a prolific period of compilations, live recordings and rearrangements started. Some may say that this time should have been related to their death doom metal era, but reality is that they began to produce these different releases in their most popular times, taking into account different stages of those times. Katatonia had a glance over some good ideas they had during their recordings and decided to compile a couple of these ideas into one album, just before a more important release in their discography called “Sanctitude”.

Songs chosen to appear come from selected moments ranging since 2006, when they recorded “The Great Cold Distance”, going through “Night is the New Day” sessions, until bonus tracks created during the 2012 album. All songs are not found normally but in special editions, singles and similar; however, they have exactly the same production quality you can hear in any other release named. You will not come across flaws in musicianship, but in the first two tracks real instruments are going to be missed. Incredibly, if not seen with elitist metalhead critique, the band seems to be very talented to create atmospheres and sounds that conjure the emotions intended in every move.

As this is a compilation, it is difficult to discover a consistency throughout the six songs, although the feeling addressed is always the same; a combination of abandonment, grief and depression. Ambience is full of heavy weights on your back, introspection, and clueless search for a purpose. At the beginning, the slow, plastic songs will level your mood as low as it can get, as you sense nothing but your breathing. Suddenly, music gets harsher, but only in its skin, because the room still has that grey color that leaves you motionless, thinking about everything you regret. Listening to the lyrics is personal for anyone who hears them, although “Sold Heart” can be the only song guilty of appearing a bit cheesy.

Every person who likes Katatonia’s new face will like this collection of rare songs, but will find nothing completely new or law-breaking. The most negative point to have in mind with this cd is the absence of “Dissolving Bounds” (a single-exclusive song released in 2006 and recorded live in the “Last Fair Day Gone Night” production), which can easily be the best of the B-side songs ever created by the band. If you like this depressive rock movement, get this and play it in a monthly basis.