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Streamlined - 95%

Dark_Mewtwo1, September 19th, 2008

Katatonia has gone through a lot of subtle changes with their now-standard rock sound. On this effort, the band takes all their influences and shapes it into a cohesive effort, producing one of the band's finest efforts to date.

Everything I could ever want in a Katatonia record is found here, from the atmospheric moods of Increase and July, to the heavier sounds of The Itch, and even the sensibility of tracks like Deliberation and My Twin. Fortunately, none of this sounds slapped together haphazardly. It seems to me that the guys worked dilligently in making everything flow perfectly, while still allowing every part of their sound to shine through. The rhythm section is solid once again, they've really developed a chemistry between the dynamic drumwork and the melodic guitar pieces. I wish they would bring the lead melodies back, and while Deliberation has that, I ultimately dropped those last 5 points because of it. It's their trademark! Everything else, from the vocals to the instruments and the production is high quality. Even the bonus tracks are excellent, bringing into question why these tracks didn't make the final cut.

In short, a fan of Katatonia's newer efforts has no excuse to enjoy this album. It contains everything that has made Katatonia a successful and powerful band, and all done in excellent fashion. Highly recommended.