Monday, July 14, 2014

Review of compilation Kocytean by Katatonia

Katatonia is like a must have band in my playlist for many year. The post-Scandinavian blends with Canterbury inspired sound is the prominent  feature of this act. Well, I usually don't prefer to listen or even check compilation type stuffs until it has some new elements or remastered version but still when it comes to Katatonia, I seriously couldn't stay behind.
So, 'Kocytean' - pretty unusual name or seems like more esoteric or dwelling, derived from Greek mythology called 'the river of wailing' or some underwater thing. The compilation is limited to some 2000 copies and released as 12" vinyl. It contains 6 tracks, three tracks on each side of the record. This is a Record Store Day exclusive release that has been celebrated on April 19th. Starts with the artwork, the name says everything 'Travis Smith' who did artwork for Amorphis etc. While surfing the web I came across that Anders comments on how the idea came up behind the artwork “I had this scenario playing over and over in my head and together with my graphics shrink Travis Smith decided to convey them down into a series of four images where it takes you through struggle, despair, tranquility and hope”. - enough said. A mighty and sacred piece of art, the last image is very much similar to the art of their previous track 'Unfurl' which purely explains the image: 'Releasing the vapor into the lungs, letting the wings unfurl.'

Opens with 'Unfurl' - which appeared in 'July' EP 2007, perfectly combines the electro & post-melo sound together; a more atmospheric doomy style followed by "Sold Heart" was originally released on the EP "The Longest Year." Renkse's harmonized vocals is just amazing, used mostly clean guitar along with reverb in this song. Then we have 'Ashen' which appeared in 'Night Is The New Day' in 2009, a more electro-harmonic based vocal along with the combination of traditional clean and distorted guitar work but the tempo is not the same and variates in between.'Second' is from 'Dead End Kings' released back in 2012, one of my favorite track has a fairly slow tempo which upbrings with rhthm guitar, love the guitar work in this song, twinkling back in the whole song. The second last rack 'Code Against Code' is taken from my favorite album 'The Great Cold Distance' starts of with a delay-clean guitar, there is a drum interlude in the song and it has nearly the same pattern through out the song. The last rack is  'The Act of Darkening' taken from 'Dead End Kings' it has one depressive pattern from the start followed by acoustic strum and beats having some violin in behind; lovely track BTW soothing, calm and moderate. For Katatonia lovers and collectors, it is surely be a must have. :)

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