Dark-prog magi Katatonia deliver more epic gloom on Sky Void Of Stars

Metal Hammer

While most heavy music can be traced back to one seminal root or another, Katatonia’s sound has always seemed to magically materialise, fully formed, bereft of cliché, and owing nothing to anything but the gentle grip of darkness. The key can be found in the seemingly intuitive songwriting of founder members Anders Nyström and Jonas Renkse: irrespective of which of them is wielding the pen, their songs consistently defy the usual rules. Intricate riffs intertwine in wild, alien ways; huge melodies erupt from unexpected points in tangled, tempestuous rhythms; colossal emotional crescendos transform into moments of breathtaking fragility and restraint. Whether by fortune, design or a mixture of the two, Katatonia have long been one of the most authentically progressive and unique bands around. As a result, expectations around a new album are always high and, pleasingly, usually met.

Sky Void Of Stars is the Swedes’ 12th full-length. Much like 2020’s City Burials, it finds them savouring a slender but unbreakable connection to the more primitive, doom metal endeavours of their distant past, but expressing it through more of that quietly miraculous songwriting.


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