When I listen 'In Silence Enshrined' and then 'Unfurl', I emphasize myself to think; time amends. Well the kvlt doomy Katatonia which I still love to listen is no more since 'Discouraged Ones' (1998) which was the first release to offer clean vocals. Despite of changing the genre, the playing style, vocals, lyrical theme; they still underrated while this had alienated a number of people who love the old-school but they opened much wider to approach the fans of alternative/progressive, but indeed it is debatable, I went no backward nor I feel estrange from one of my favourite band.
'The Great Cold Distance' is the seventh full-length which enlighten their departure from doom/death towards unclassifiable genre but why not to assigned? because the new wave of Katatonia has a blend of different style: doom/alternative/progressive/depressive/gothic; but still they are a metal band and that is fair enough.
Well, the consistency brought much improvement from predecessor 'Viva Emptiness', the art-work, the lyrical workout everything is good as compared. Personally, I really enjoyed the album, one thing is that Jonas knows how to nib down the moor of feelings. Each song has its own theme, just by seeing the lyrics may be someone thinks it is as usual but by listening the song and then grasping, one can know what its all about. BTW, I can't imagine that Renske has got some very melodic and melancholy throat as he growls (not any more) but also sings very smooth and serene which complements the music of Katatonia.
(I have the same poster in my room)
The distorted guitar work is good ranging with some heavy power-chords but still as a fan of acoustic, I am missing it. It could have made a good impact but nonetheless a good one. I think bass solos should have in the album which suits the dark/depressive sense but not a big issue though. Some folks said, the album do have good writing/vocal skills but more or less every song have the same pattern of composition, same heavy pseudo riffs along with the drum strokes. Well, Katatonia is a creative act. I don't feel this but yeah, they have their own style so one can say yus there's Katatonia (a trademark).
Its a must have for everyone not only for the metal-heads. It has a arm wide open. Cheers! \m/
(The Unfurl official tee and the poster that I have)