Jan Johansson

Katatonia – Dead End Kings Review

Katatonia – Dead End Kings Review

Katatonia are one of my favorite bands, I think it’s safe to say. In the top 10? Probably, but definitely the Top 15 – with A Great Cold Distance and Last Fair Deal Gone Down duking it out for one of the best records of the 2000s. Their development as an act that has moved this far from Dance of December Souls and Brave Murder Day is immense. Those records are absolute classics, but as a band Katatonia has developed a feel for modern, depressive rock in the late 2000s that one could only have guessed at when Discouraged Ones and Tonight’s Decision were being released. But I did not enjoy Night Is the New Day pretty much at all. Instead, while everyone was freaking out, I was underwhelmed. It was filled with songs that didn’t speak to me even remotely. And unlike Viva Emptiness which finally just clicked for me after about 18 months of not digging it, Night Is the New Day still doesn’t pack any kind of punch.

Opeth – Heritage Review

Opeth – Heritage Review

Disclaimer: Knowing how to review this record has been very difficult for me because I’m a big fan of the band and I have no desire to try make my opinion seem bigger than the band’s work. I understand my subjective position as a reviewer very well. But this record suffers from pretty major issues that it make it very difficult for me to enjoy and that show off the weakness of the band in its current incarnation. I am aware that there will be a good amount of whining and gnashing of teeth over this review, and you’re welcome to it. Just remember that I 1) am not invested in Opeth playing death metal; 2) like plenty of bands that have changed their sounds; and 3) enjoy progressive and abstract music of all stripes very much.