The Great Cold Distance/My Twin

Peaceville Records 2006

Katatonia have been one of the very few metal bands who have successfully managed to evoke the emotion of sorrow with their music.  Another thing I find quiet refreshing about them is that pretty much all their albums have appealed to me despite being very different as their career progressed.  The Great Cold Distance and its corresponding EP/Single pick up pretty much where Viva Emptiness left off.  These releases are both heavy on the rhythms and thundering riffs.  The Great old Distance is possibly a little more brooding and a little less heavy.  A perfect example of this is right there in the first track, Leaders with its deceptively calming guitar and bass lines that lead you into a sense of desolation before bludgeoning you when the drums kick in with that sharp snare.  My favorite song is Soil's Song with its stop and start chugging riff.  The video for My Twin on the enhanced version of the CD perfectly captures the loneliness and longing that the song embodies.  Also the single for My twin is a four song affair that has the title track plus a remix of said track as well as two other original compositions not found on the album proper.  They are all in line the material found on The Great Cold Distance.  Jonas Renske's vocals are so pleading and pained you can actually feel the strain within his heart and soul.  The production is spot on making all the instruments sound clear yet cold and the guitars are so haunting in their subtle moments before they magic the transition to thundering walls of noise.  I have read from some that this album is much weaker than Viva Emptiness but I find that view very narrow indeed because this album is really strong and stands well on its own or even when compared to Katatonia's back Catalog.  Katatonia is a confident band that has found their identity and the listener can clearly feel this in the maturity of the compositions and I can only believe that they will continue to grow and refine their unique style and increase the stranglehold they maintain on the ears of their fans.