Katatonia – Tonight’s Decision

Katatonia is among my favorite bands and I first discovered them with their 2006 album, The Great Cold Distance. The rest of their discography initially came off as incredibly boring and could not garner my attention. However, as with many an album, Katatonia’s older albums have grown on me. Tonight’s Decision was once an album I couldn’t get half way through. Tonight’s Decision is Katatonia fourth album and has a unique sound that differentiates it from the rest of Katatonia’s work. The word that best describes the mood of this album is dismal. The lyrics are generally quite depressing and pessimistic. The vocals generally have little emotion and it sounds like vocalist Jonas Renkse is making little effort, although it is clear he was becoming more comfortable with clean vocals. The sound production is a little muffled as the instruments kind of blend together. The simple chugging of the distorted guitars by Anders Nystrom sound a little lower in the mix, but overall none of the instruments overpower each other, and this makes the album not feel all too heavy. The distortion is there, but not in your face. These characteristics actually help give this album this mood and style that suits it well. Each of the instruments are played, and the drums have a nice cymbal sound. The dismal mood of the album is what makes it good. Most of the songs on this album are quite similar in tone and structure. Songs such as In Death, A Song or Had to (Leave) are also good songs representative of this album. Songs like For My Demons and I Am Nothing have plenty of melancholic lyrics. This Punishment even sounds like Renkse is about to cry. A Darkness Coming has some acoustic guitars and some ominous atmosphere before leading into some heavier distortion. Some of the lyrics are cheesy in this song: “I saw it coming—something bad” repeated several times. Nightmares by the Sea is actually a Jeff Buckley cover, which sounds a little different than the rest of the songs on the album. Overall, Tonight’s Decision is a solid album by Katatonia and definitely among the more depressing Katatonia albums. This is not an album for happy people.

Genre: Doom Metal, Depressive Rock
Country: Sweden
Label: Peaceville Records
Release: August 31, 1999

1. For My Demons
2. I Am Nothing
3. In Death, A Song
4. Had To (Leave)
5. This punishment
6. Right Into The Bliss
7. No Good Can Come Of This
8. Strained
9. A Darkness Coming
10. Nightmares By The Sea
11. Black Session

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