Song of the Week – Criminals

Happy Wednesday I hope your week is going well.  This week I will be bringing you both the song and the video of the week.  I will be focusing my thoughts and discussion on the Swedish band Katatonia for the song on Wednesday and the video on Friday.

If you haven’t been following Katatonia up to this point you have some catching up to do…as I do myself.  Katatonia is what some people refer to as doom, gloom, or melancholy metal.  However you want to call it, Katatonia nails it.  Their artistic formula is unique and haunting.  Founding member and vocalist Jonas Renske’s vocals pierce through your heart.  If you haven’t experienced a Katatonia show please try to get yourself out there, they are very talented.  Ok on with the song of the week.

In 2003, Katatonia released their 6th studio album called “Viva Emptiness.”  Criminals is just one the 13 tracks on the album and is the song of the week.  I have read through the lyrics a few times and tried to make sense of them, but the meaning might be deeper that I can let my mind go at the moment.  Here are the lyrics for Criminals and if you have an interpretation let’s discuss it.

The way the light hits the road
The way I am unable to protect you
O I’m running away
I will never forgive myself
For running away from you

He came back to your house
I didn’t take it as a promise
Always thought it was a lie
He went too far the fucker
It’s not like I owe him money
This is different

So gather your strength and break free
Or you will surely die
Gather your strength don’t follow me
‘Cause I will surely die

The way my eyes cannot move
The way I hope to be protected
And for one moment I thought
That I was lost among the lights of houses

My dreams of violence
See them coming true

Personally,  I am thinking the protagonist of the song has been caught up in some bad stuff and because of that cannot protect someone they love or care for.  He doesn’t owe them money as said in the song, but for whatever reason, someone is in danger at the house and the protagonist cannot do anything about it for fear of his own life.  On a deeper scale, the protagonist could be the one that is causing the harm and cannot do anything to stop himself.  Or I could be completely off.  What do you think?

If you haven’t heard Katatonia you may know the vocalist from these other bands…October Tide, Bloodbath, and Ayreon.

Live footage of Katatonia playing Criminals.

About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on July 6, 2011, in Song of the Week and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great song, I definitely dig Katatonia, they’re one of the best in the realm of alt-metal. I think this song is about a man reflecting back on and feeling guilt on an incident that happened. My dissertation is that him and a girl he’s involved with got into a fight and he left and left her defenseless, physically and emotionally. This girl is currently in some kind of relationship with someone else but an unhappy one and loves the protagonist more. She is even more destroyed when the protagonist leaves so when the real boyfriend comes over and finds out he beats and rapes her. The protagonist knew that if the boyfriend found out she would be in a bad way, but he was selfish and left her and then his fears of violence to her are realized and he’s stricken with guilt. Or that last line means he’s planning retribution. Maybe I’ve been playing that L.A. Noire game a bit much lately? Your theory on the protagonist being the one doling out the violence is pretty plausible too.

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