Katatonia – Dethroned and Uncrowned (Kscope)

Katatonia – Dethroned and Uncrowned (Kscope)

They are back. Those masters of metal melancholia, Stockholm’s very own doomlords, Katatonia have returned with their tenth studio album. In the year since the release of its predecessor Dead End Kings and so consumed had they been with its infinite possibilities, the Swedish five-piece returned to this record using it not only as Dethroned and Uncrowned’s very inspiration but also its primary source.

Dethroned and Uncrowned is Dead End Kings unplugged, stripped back to its core elements and reimagined as something that is altogether different yet which still remains fundamentally the same. The embryos of the eleven songs are exactly as before, their titles still firmly intact. But from their hitherto form they have had the thundering insistence of both drums and guitars forcibly removed. Those portents of creeping sorrow and impending final day judgement that have long been the blueprint to which Katatonia return time and time again have been replaced by an altogether more orchestral sadness.

Without any accompanying metal pyrotechnics, Jonas Renkse’s mournful croon is exposed in all of its fragile vulnerability, the central poignancy of the songs’ emotional thrust suddenly revealed as something far more tangible, far more real. Appearing as it does across a huge landscape of acoustic guitars, piano and strings, Dethroned and Uncrowned is the record you know always wanted to escape from the shackles of Dead End Kings. It is the sound of Katatonia breaking free.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Dethroned and Uncrowned is released on 9th September 2013 on Kscope


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