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The Great Cold Distance

Katatonia

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Album Review

Coming three full years after 2003's Viva Emptiness, The Great Cold Distance continues the trend toward the mainstream that Katatonia began with that album. Singer Jonas Renske — who apparently lost his ability to do the now-clichéd Cookie Monster vocals some years ago due to medical problems — has refined his voice into a much smoother and, surprisingly, more powerful instrument that's capable of greater emotional shadings. Similarly, this album forsakes the blastbeats and hyperspeed riffing for a more dynamic sound that makes smart use of slow and quiet passages. They're still heavy: "Deliberation" and "Leaders" are as brutal as anything on the band's career high point, Last Fair Deal Gone Down. But that heaviness is set off by gems like the surprisingly restrained "In the White," a powerful and heartfelt song that's among the band's finest, and that sonic variety makes The Great Cold Distance a stronger, more compelling listen than a more bludgeoning effort would be.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Considered by many to be one of the heavyweights of Swedish metal, Katatonia had a long and storied career that saw them move from a rough, sludge-like doom metal sound to a more streamlined approach, losing the guttural vocals and...
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The Great Cold Distance, Katatonia
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