Sky Void of Stars


From their EPK, "Meritorious masters of melancholic metal KATATONIA carry on their legacy of rearranging […]
January 4, 2023
Katatonia - Sky Void of Stars album cover

From their EPK, "Meritorious masters of melancholic metal KATATONIA carry on their legacy of rearranging the order of the heavy music universe, proudly presenting their hauntingly beautiful next studio album, "Sky Void of Stars," out January 20, 2023 via Napalm Records. Founded in 1991, KATATONIA have continually embraced the dark and the light alike and - living through genre evolutions beyond compare - ripened their own particular form of expression. KATATONIA is one of a kind in a state of perpetual evolution. Significantly shaping the genre while still staying true to their own musical values, they orbit the musical universe - leaving their imprints on the scene. Projecting their sound to the endless realms, "Sky Void of Stars" shines bright in metal and beyond." The album has 11 songs.

"Austerity" is the first. The bass work is the first thing that I notice...Niklas create some really wonderful work. The Progressive leanings of the songwriting are next. The vocals are, of course, excellent, with great harmonies in the chorus. "Colossal Shade" is a bit slower and with a purposeful groove consisting of an easy listening riff that is as heavy as it is elegant. "Opaline" is a different animal altogether. Trumpet notes and some light electronica open the song. The chorus is a big punch in the gut, and let the melodies whisk you away to a place that you only dream of. "Birds" is a quintessential KATATONIA sound, in that the vocals impart some great emotive qualities while the music pushes hard at the other end. The song is both muddy from one end but comes out pristine on the other.

"Drab Moon" is a bit more pensive, with minimal instrumentation while the vocals do much of the work. At least, until the clouds clear in the chorus and the light of the moon shines the path. Some eerie electronica swirls in the background as well. "Author" begins with light keyboard notes. From there, a smooth riff enters along with some more well-placed bass notes. A good bassist can really project a band's sound, and Niklas is truly shining on the album. "Impermanence" is another contemplative song that comes alive in the chorus, like an old would opened by seeing someone from your past. Leads pour out of his hands like the last drop of water on earth leaving the vase. "Sclera" features some tranquil electronica in the mix. It means the white layer of the eyeball. Eyes have always been a bit of a mystery...they can be so expressive but also hid very well how people are really feeling.

"Atrium" was the first single I heard from the album, and in many ways, it was the perfect first release. Long-time fans will be happy with it's almost jovial groove, and spirited chorus. But as always, darkness lies deep within the song. "No Beacon to Illuminate our Fall" has some chunky riffs to go along with the smooth vocals. It's one of the heavier songs on the album. "Absconder" closes the album, and in grand fashion. Out of the gates, husky riffs slap you with one hand while the other fondles your intellect. The guitar work is especially strong in this song, with some trippy leads full of effects. The curtain closes on what might be the song with everything but the kitchen sink.

The weight of the album is massive, but it's also so delicate, it breaks like thin glass on the ground. It's the mood of the album that is really sets the band apart. Long-time fans will be pleased with the path that the band stays on, never veering too far from the formula that got them where they are today. They have a timeless sound to boot...the type of sound that really never gets old, and they are totally unique in the niche that they have carved for themselves. I would be remiss however if I didn't express at least a little disappointment in the absence of any experimentation. As a fan, I always like bands to push themselves a little further.

8 / 10









"Sky Void of Stars" Track-listing:

1. Austerity
2. Colossal Shade
3. Opaline
4. Birds
5. Drab Moon
6. Author
7. Impermanence
8. Sclera
9. Atrium
10. No Beacon to Illuminate our Fall
11. Absconder

Katatonia Lineup:

Anders Nyström - Guitars
Jonas Renkse - Vocals
Niklas Sandin - Bass
Daniel Moilanen - Drums
Roger Öjersson - Guitars

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram