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Dead End Kings

4.5 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 28, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 album from the Swedish Metal band. A continuation of 2009's inspired and acclaimed Night Is The New Day, as well as a leap forward into the unknown, Dead End Kings sees the quintet conjure yet another milestone in audio melancholy and angst. Amongst their most poignant and ambitious material to date, Dead End Kings was recorded at Ghost Ward Studios and The City Of Glass. Anders Nystr”m and Jonas Renkse took care of the album production themselves, while David Castillo, well known for his previous alliances with Katatonia, as well as Opeth and Bloodbath, was the man behind the album mix. Dead End Kings sees the recording debut of guitarist Per Eriksson for the band, together with recently recruited bassist Niklas Sandin. Additionally, Frank Default joins once more on sampling and atmospherics duties, while there is a very special guest appearance by Norwegian vocalist Silje Wergeland of Dutch legends The Gathering/ex Octavia Sperati.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Peaceville
  • ASIN: B0088TI9EO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,963 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Katatonia is one of those bands I just can not possibly get enough of. They have pretty much ruined rock music for me just by showing me how inferior all the other bands really are that I once loved. Now I am by no means a true "metal fan". I hate rock/metal music where the majority of the vocals are screamed, growled or grunted. If the singer isn't actually "singing", then it won't be for me (which is why I have always had to go to more mainstream rock bands or else female fronted bands such as Within Temptation, Autumn or Lacuna Coil to get the type of vocals that I love). Most male fronted bands outside the mainstream market usually have far superior music, but yet are fronted by a vocalist that I just do not like and therefore it has been extremely difficult for me to find a band who has a vocalist whom I love just as much as the musicians backing him. But Katatonia manages to work magic and make the darker music I crave accessible by having one of the most melodically soul soothing and beautifully haunting vocalists I have ever heard. And (unlike the mainstream bands) the music is just as engaging as their singer which creates a truly special sound that I can only describe as a "perfect balance", to where every band member provides equal talent. Needless to say, after their two latest masterpieces The Great Cold Distance and Night is the New Day (and since exploring their entire "clean vocal" era back discography) it should be no surprise that this was one of my most anticipated albums in years. And it does not disappoint (for the most part).Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I can't even describe it for someone who has never heard them, but if you fell in love with Night is the New Day -- you will not be disappointed! I think Katatonia realized it was the greatest achievement of their lives musically, given how much everyone ate it up, and proceeded to create an album that -- while entirely fresh -- is every bit as wonderful and genius as their past success. All the songs of these two CDs could be interchanged between albums and nothing would be out of place, it is the same wonderful, dark, haunting, musical feeling. If you are a metal fan who sometimes feels not in the mood for so much thrashing... this is the perfect medicine for your dark soul. It is to metal as chill is to trance.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listen to lots of music, covering many genres and styles. I have also played music my entire life, and feel I have a pretty good idea about what makes a song "strong" or "weak". I don't write reviews very often, because I feel that other reviewers have adequately covered the material, but more typically I don't feel strongly enough about an album to take the time to write about it. Regarding Katatonia's "Dead End Kings", I felt that it is necessary that I say something, because the album is something special.

I've known of Katatonia for about 4 years or so, and like the band enough that I've listened to 90% of the band's previous offerings. Anyone who has listened to the band's catalog knows that over the years their sound has redeveloped, and has become more "progressive". I think this new approached was very apparent in the band's last album "Night is the New Day". While that album is very good, I felt there was still some polishing these guys needed to address to really solidify the sound they were going after. The whole "ambient metal" idea is really cool, but blending it with metal (or just heavily distorted guitar) isn't always easy. While transitions were uneasy at times on "Night is the New Day", the band seems to flow with this much more naturally on the new album.

When looking at "Dead End Kings" itself, the first thing I always focus on is the artist's overall songwriting. Let me tell you, on this album, Katatonia is absolutely solid. The quality of melodies, rhythm structures, and direction of the songs are fantastic. Each song flows very nicely from intros to verses to choruses, all of which makes sense to the listener. Also, and because of this, this album is very approachable to new listeners.
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Format: Audio CD
A lot of the advance reviews of Katatonia's latest pretty much hit it square on the head for me: a solid follow-up to the stunning "Night is the new day", but a little too much of the same approach, too much of the time. Still relying on the mellower side of the band, those hoping for a heavier follow-up (a la "The great cold distance") will be slightly disappointed. While a few songs rely on the heavy chording of the earlier albums, for the most part, this is not only a mirror image of the composition of "NITND", but is even more reliant sonically on the prog direction taken on the latest efforts from soul/tourmates Opeth. And while Jonas Renske's vocals still hinge on the distant, mournful approach found on all their latest albums, a newer take on the singing would have been welcome. Perhaps the loss of the two founding Norrman brothers is part of the reason this album sounds a bit too similar to the last, not having their long-time creative input. But still, this IS Katatonia, one of the most creative and challenging "metal" bands out there now, and even the "same ol' same ol'" with them is better than 90% of what's out there. And on subsequent listens, I may change my mind entirely!!
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