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On its seventh studio album, Swedish doomsayers Katatonia’s melancholic metal stance is very much intact throughout the 12-track THE GREAT COLD DISTANCE. With an air of sadness and a flare for creating depression-filled metal dirges like “Increase” and “Leaders”, these mope metal veterans meticulously pile on the pain for a maximizing downtrodden feel. And while this darker-edged quintet may not be as ornate as Opeth, as oppressive as November’s Doom or as Gothic as Paradise Lost, but name another act that could convincingly pull off a melodically moody tirade laden with desperation and call it “July”? Juxtaposing the fragility of life and inevitability of death with Tool-esque crescendos (check out “In the White”) and atmospheric rhythms that radiate a cold, bleak vibe (try “The Itch” on for size), this CD should unquestionably be kept away from sharp objects and unstable mindsets.
- Mike SOS