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Four good siblings, two of which are twins - 85%

Arkanus, December 23rd, 2015

Before officially molding a new channel for the tides in the 2006 release by Katatonia, the band produced this four-song single to take a look at what can be found later. The Swedes had already put a milestone in their career with “Discourage Ones” and had seen some wider acclaim with “Last Fair Deal Gone Down” in 2001, but they needed something to show their progress as musicians. That is the reason they created this “The Great Cold Distance” with a new direction in their “Nu Metal” influence, making heavy use of electronic sounds and progressive intentions.

A couple of months before that release, they took one of the best songs they have written within their new era, put it clean, put a reimagination of it, and added two exclusive songs in a package in February. Once you have heard everything the band released since “Viva Emptiness” then it is not difficult to guess the production quality this group of songs have. Guitars print a soft wall of distortion, while drums are pleasantly organic and bass lines cover everything in an almost robotic efficiency. Renkse keeps that smooth tone, waving through the notes comfortably inside the boundaries of the lyrics emotions.

Although the pop-like structure of the songs, all of them have something very strong to say cancelling the sensation of being predictable. They make you wait for the next verse and leaves you unprepared for the burst of the last chorus or fading endings, even when the path was clearly presented. The Opium Dub version of the title song is the best one of all electronic remixes you can find by Katatonia and “Dissolving Bounds” is worth being played more than twice in a row.

The exclusive songs make this single desirable and the remix is comfortable to listen to, even though there is no need to include it among good rock music. “Displaced” is not a completely developed song, and that makes you hesitate whether “My Twin” is the only interesting part, until the last track starts. If people really enjoy depressive rock, the last song triggers the existence of this release.