Discouraged Ones (Avantgarde/Century Black)
Enslain Magazine Issue #5
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As I write this review I'm listening to the album for seemingly the millionth time. The album is so moody, its hard to resist. At first the album almost seems strange compared to Katatonia's other stuff since the growled vocals are missing and there are only normal vocals present. The band is also a four piece now with the addition of a new bassist (who looks really fucking out of place with the rest of the band). The first song that kicks off the album is called "I Break." This song is one of my personal favorites along with "Cold Ways." Neither song is a single though even though the stand out, the album blends together nicely. The strangest thing I get from the album is that it is at once almost commercially flavored while being depressing and doomy. I can imagine some of the songs being on the radio, even though most radio stations would never play it. This is one of the things that is going to turn a bunch of people away from this album. The commercial flavor and use of clean vocals are quite frightening at first, but once you get used to them the album begins to breathe a new life and you can defiantly hear the soul of Katatonia within it. This is great in my opinion, but not so to others. My advice is that if you are a fan of depressing, soul crushing music to try this out. Also, you have to listen to it a couple times before passing judgment since like everything great, the best things are never immediately seen or heard. -- Adam S.