While the “Peaceville Three” were charging forward with their British brand of goth-infused doom/death metal, lurking in Sweden was Katatonia. While their British contemporaries seemed to take more of the romantic “art school” goth influence with their music, early Katatonia seemed to draw on the pain and suffering aspect. Their music existed somewhere between genres. Not quite doom, not quite death, not quite black metal (leading some to use the unfortunate term “black doom”), but intriguing nonetheless. You can feel the pain coming off of this album. The torturous vocal performance, complimented by the almost rock infused music, is a call to suffering and misery. More extreme than the Brits, Katatonia goes for broke on this one and creates, what I feel, is a classic album. I only wish I hadn’t taken so long to get to this one.
Current day Katatonia, much like the current day versions of the Peaceville Three, is a bit of a far cry from this original sound. The play a more rock/metal depressing rock sound today but still remain captivating and one of my favorite bands from this time period. Thought their style changes, they very rarely put out a clunker. Their most recent album Dead End Kings is fantastic in it’s own right.
On a side note, the version of this album I listened to also contained their Jhva Elohim Meth demo that features an early version of the song “Without God”.