Album Review: Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
Posted by Reggie
First of all I am not going to mention that other guy from that other band that is known to be vocalist Jonas Renske’s buddy. Not even going there. I keep seeing those comparisons and it’s driving me nuts. Second, it’s going to be hard not to be a bit biased because of my love for Katatonia’s depressively wonderful melodies. But, The Fall of Hearts is upon us, all 1+ hour of it, and I must speak about it. That’s a huge chunk of melancholy, but the good thing is that it doesn’t “feel” like an hour. So, I expected the album to follow the path of Dethroned and Uncrowned. I mean, let’s face it, that haunting remix of Dead End Kings was well transformed, produced, and engineered. The live concert footage is killer! Why not ride that wave? I probably would, but that’s me. I can milk a cow till she runs dry.
Jonas Renske, as far as I am concerned, has an absolutely hypnotic set of vocal chords. There is no shortage of his ability on this album. Decima is a great example where he shines. While listening, I barely noticed the exquisite acoustic guitar until I heard it for the third time. Old Heart Falls is another one where his vocals chill-to-the-bone. It has a strong chorus that stands out over some of the slower melodies. Residual and Serac bring out the more of their prog side; something that could be easily compared to that other popular Swedish band I won’t name in this review. And, I will draw a slight comparison to Tool as well. Thank you for pointing that out, Mik. I hear it from time to time mostly in the bass.
More importantly, what is different? The Fall of Hearts does not fall short on some heavy-ass melody. Serac, Serein, Takeover, and segments of Passer boast a varying degree of heavy to very heavy melodies which is refreshing and gives the album an appropriate amount of symmetry. Nothing against the powerful melancholy of Dethroned and Uncrowned, but it’s great to see Katatonia taking things in a slightly different, heavier, approach. However, one take away from the Dethroned album you’ll find on The Fall of Hearts is on Pale Flag which features bongos instead of drums for part of the song.
The Fall of Hearts is a great addition to the Katatonia library. Its balance between accessible hard rock, melancholy, and heavy metal is done right. It is well-produced and sounds great. It haunts and rocks and while you listen, you’ll wonder where that hour + went. Sign of a superb album.
5 out of 5
Label: Peaceville Records
Songs: 13 (deluxe)
Length: 73 minutes (deluxe)
Genre: Doom / Melancholy / Hard Rock
Previous Studio Albums: Dance of December Souls (1993); Brave Murder Day (1996); Discouraged Ones (1998); Tonight’s Decision (1999); Last Fair Deal Gone Down (2001); Viva Emptiness (2003); The Great Cold Distance (2006); Night is the New Day (2009); Dead End Kings (2012)