Katatonia is a band which might be described as a comeback or at least an example of the transformative life-span of an artist. After a period of silence and an album which was good but not as good, they came out with Dead End Kings in 2012 and an extremely successful, acoustic follow up to that entitled Dethroned and Uncrowned. As we gear up for the next release, many questions present themselves: which direction will Katatonia go with next? Was the last cycle of releases a fluke, a last spark from a bonfire now subdued? To answer all of these and put our doubts to rest, we now have “Old Heart Falls”, the first single released.
Beyond the somewhat execution of the lyrical video, not quite as tired as these things usually are but also not terribly innovative, the track itself is great. However, it does send a message that we’ve spoken about in the past: making an interesting and well executed lyrical video isn’t that hard. All you need to do is to break away from banality and think of an interesting aesthetic in which to display your lyrics. It doesn’t have to be the next big thing but it should be pleasing and engaging.
The track itself displays a range of sounds which Katatonia have utilized only a little before. The synth samples and tones are almost completely new, echoing some of Opeth‘s latest work, a comparison which should come as no surprise to anyone aware of the fertile collaborations and influences that have always existed between the bands. The guitars as well are laden with a new melancholy.
Both the backing guitars and the sporadic solo in the middle seem heavily influenced by Riverside. That echoing spring in the backing part’s step is pure Out of Myself and the aforementioned solo/bridge stings our eyes with memories of the late Piotr Grudziński. This all comes together into a track which promises great things from the album to come. It sounds as if the basic Katatonia sound displayed on the previous release is still here, with Renkse an obvious center point, but it has also been augmented by plenty of new tastes and flavors.
The Fall of Hearts is coming to take all your tears away from you on May 20th. You can pre-order it here. Excuse me while I hibernate until it releases.