When Amalie Bruun announced she was pregnant at the start of 2019 she feared she wouldn’t make it to Alcatraz. We immediately agreed to bill Myrkur this year but now that little Otto is born Analie has suspended her live performances for the time being.
So who could possibly replace her? What band offers the same quality and has a frontwoman who’s in Amalie’s league? Why, Katatonia of course! Katatonia starts out as a highly talented gothic/doom/death metal band – just listen to ‘Dance of December Souls’ (1993) and ‘Brave Murder Day’ (1996) – but on ‘Viva Emptiness’ (2003) and ‘The Great Cold Distance’ (2006) they change musical directions and foray into the universe of melancholic metal, a move apparently appreciated by the growing ranks of Katatonia devotees. On ‘Dead End Kings’ (2012) and its acoustic brother ‘Dethroned & Uncrowned’ (2013) the Swedish quintet increasingly experiment with traditional music, an evolution that reaches its zenith on their tenth offering ‘The Fall of Hearts’ (2016). For now this is their Magnus Opus, one where all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Katatonia deserves a huge amount of credit for having had the courage to shift their focus from a death/doom metal approach to atmospheric and progressive post metal. Their erstwhile influences included Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride but on later records Katatonia evolved in the same musical direction as Opeth, Anathema and Tool on their recent records. After a short break Katatonia now returns to the European stages and it’s a privilege to welcome them inside our prison walls for the very first time.