Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down

Here is yet another classic Katatonia album. For many Katatonia fans, Last Fair Deal Gone Down is Katatonia’s finest achievement. There is plenty of merit to this argument, but where it ranks within their discography is irrelevant—all that matters is that it is quality Katatonia. For this album, Jonas Renkse, Anders Nystrom and crew sought out to create a metal version of The Cure’s masterpiece Disintegration album. Despite the vast difference in music styles of the two bands, there is a hint of The Cure buried within Last Fair Deal Gone Down. The album opens with the excellent Dispossession. Each Katatonia album has its own sound and the sound of this album is exemplified on this track. There is a warm, yet melancholic tone, an active, yet lethargic style to both the music and vocals. Jonas Renkse has a soft voice, and on this release in particular, he sings in a style reminiscent of The Cure’s Robert Smith. The guitars and drums are heavy, but the addition of keyboards and the way the album is mixed gives it a warm and fuzzy tone. Last Fair Deal Gone Down sees Katatonia utilizing more layers than they have before. There is not a weak song on this album and they all tend to have a similar tone and style. Keyboards provide a great atmosphere as on Chrome, Teargas, and Tonight’s Music. I Transpire begins with an Opeth-like guitar line with a slight doom metal feel before alternating between this and atmospheric keyboards accompanied by Renkse’s vocals that sound like they are on an old record player. The Future of Speech is another great track with atmospheric keyboards that has an excellent bridge section with nice drumming and ethereal vocals. A few songs are fast-paced like We Must Bury You, while Clean Today has some crunchy guitar riffs. Last Fair Deal Gone Down is a fine Katatonia album and one Katatonia fans must listen to and those who enjoy melancholic music should as well.

Genre: Depressive Rock, Metal
Country: Sweden
Label: Peaceville Records
Release: May 8, 2001

1. Dispossession
2. Chrome
3. We Must Bury You
4. Teargas
5. I Transpire
6. Tonight’s Music
7. Clean Today
8. The Future Of Speech
9. Passing Bird
10. Sweet Nurse
11. Don’t Tell A Soul

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