Katatonia – Dethroned & Uncrowned (2013), Sanctitude (2015), The Fall of Hearts (2016)

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KatatoniaDethroned & Uncrowned (Kscope, 10 Sepember 2013)

 

Sanctitude cover

KatatoniaSanctitude (Kscope, 30 March 2015)

 

Katatonia - Fall Of Hearts - Medium Res Cover

KatatoniaThe Fall of Hearts (Peaceville Records, 20 May 2016)

 

Commonly referred to as “The Peaceville Three,” British bands Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride each formed in the late 1980s or early ’90s, each signed with Peaceville Records soon after (even though the actual amount of time during which all three of them were on the label’s roster together was actually pretty brief), and each went on to release some major landmark albums that ended up defining the development of the gothic metal genre from its roots in melodic death and doom metal. And, just like when people talk about other bands who just as easily could have been included in lists like “The Big Four” of thrash, there’s an unofficial fourth member of “The Peaceville Three,” who have been in existence about as long as the others, who have been with the Peaceville label for nearly the past twenty years, and who have been just as instrumental in the realm of gothic metal (including the symphonic, progressive, and dark melodic elements that have been interwoven together during its decades-long evolution): their neighbors across the North Sea, Katatonia.

Four years ago, Katatonia released their ninth full-length Dead End Kings, which was subsequently described in press as the band’s “most successful to date,” having “cemented [their] position as masters of sorrowful metal [… and] marked another step in the journey towards a more progressive sound.” Following that acclaim, naturally there would be a high degree of anticipation to see what would come next — and eventually a tenth album of all-new material emerged, just a few short months ago. But before we discuss The Fall of Hearts, the journey to this release has included a look backwards and a good bit of twisting previous entries from this substantial discography into new and interesting shapes, so let’s take a quick tour of what these Swedes have been up to over the past three years, shall we?

 

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Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance (2013), Germ – Escape (2016)

Darkthrone-The-Underground-Resistance

DarkthroneThe Underground Resistance (Peaceville Records, 25 February 2013)

 

Germ-Escape

GermEscape (Prophecy Productions, 29 April 2016)

 

Good afternoon, or good evening, or good whatever-it-is-right-now. I can hardly even tell anymore, because I don’t think there was any point today at which I even reached a state of being half-awake. These late-night hockey playoff games are really killing me. Last night’s went into overtime, which ended up only lasting about two and a half minutes, but still, it was already difficult enough for me to stay awake through the end of the first three periods.

Anyway, I’ll quit whining and get on with the music I have to share with you today. One of these was on my top 13 of 2013 list — yes, I’m still working on getting something written about each of those, and we’re down to just a handful remaining! — while the other was released just last week, but both of these albums are highly recommended listening (even though on the surface they seem completely different) …

 

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