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Katatonia

Considered by many to be one of the heavyweights of Swedish metal, Katatonia had a long and storied career that saw them move from a rough, sludge-like doom metal sound to a more streamlined approach, losing the guttural vocals and adding a more accessible, riff-based sheen to their brand of gothic doom.

Formed in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden, Katatonia started out life as a studio-based two-piece. Members Jonas Renkse (known then as Lord Seth) was the band's vocalist and drummer, and Anders Nyström (aka Blakkheim) spent their first year under said moniker writing and rehearsing before putting together a demo, titled Jhva Elohim Meth, which was recorded by Swedish metal legend Dan Swanö, and was released in 1992. Sludgy and doom-laden, with just a dab of classic black metal atmosphere to it, Jhva became a hit in underground metal circles, enough so that the band managed to score a CD re-release of it on Dutch label Vic Records. The popularity of the CD called the band out, and Katatonia added a bass player, Guillaume Le Huche (once known as Israphel Wing) in order to satisfy the need of fans to hear the band live. It was at this point that Katatonia began a long trend of signing short-term deals with European labels, the first being No Fashion, who released the first full-length Katatonia offering, Dance of December Souls in December of 1993. With a more expansive sound being chosen over the blacker elements of their debut EP, Katatonia attracted a broader fan base, and began to move into a more gothic-based sound that was more reminiscent of the Cure or Sisters of Mercy than black metal. 1994 was, for the most part, spent recording and releasing tracks for split singles ("Scarlet Heavens," a ten-minute epic eventually released in 1996) and compilations ("Black Erotica" and "Love of the Swan" for a collection for new label Avantgarde Music, released in 1995).

Tensions in nailing down a stable touring lineup led to the short-term dissolution of the band, with Renske and Nyström focusing on other projects. It was in 1996 that Katatonia, a three-piece again with new guitarist Fredrik Norrman, regrouped and recorded what many feel to be their masterpiece, Brave Murder Day. Notable for the fact that this was the point at which Renske was no longer able to sing in the guttural style (Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt was recruited to take care of that), Brave Murder Day also marked a new chapter in the band's sound overall. Gone were the black metal aspects of their earlier work, and the doomier aspects were set aside for a leaner, higher tempo -- yet firmly metal -- dynamic.

The success of Brave Murder Day would allow Katatonia to embark on their first European tour, and in 1997 the band returned (once again with Åkerfeldt on vocals) with the mini-album Sounds of Decay. 1997 also saw the band add a new member, Mikael Oretoft, taking the vacant bass position, as well as their recording of a new album, Discouraged Ones (released in 1998), with Renske taking the clean vocals and (again) Åkerfeldt on the guttural. A new multi-album deal with Peaceville followed, and the band released Tonight's Decision in 1999. This time around, Renske took on full vocal duties (all clean vocals, of course) and Dan Swanö was recruited to man the drums for the recordings. The band then rounded out its touring membership, adding Mattias Norrman on bass and Daniel Liljekvist before embarking on a tour supporting Paradise Lost.

The year 2001 saw the release of Last Fair Deal Gone Down, produced by the band, which found Katatonia fully embracing the sound that was to define them in the latter part of their career. A pair of singles was released from the album, and they spent most of 2001 on the road. The band returned after a quiet 2002 with 2003's Viva Emptiness, which was followed by a European tour that Katatonia headlined. While 2004 was spent touring, 2005 saw Katatonia's past being explored with the compilation releases Brave Yester Days and The Black Sessions. The former, a double-disc set, contained music from the band's early years (1992-1997), while the latter acted as more of a "best-of" and B-sides collection of their work dating from 1998-2004 that included a DVD of the band live in 2003. The band would re-enter the studio in late 2005, and in 2006, Katatonia released The Great Cold Distance. Over the next two years, the band would tour extensively (including an American jaunt) and release the live album, Live Consternation in 2007. Night Is the New Day followed in 2009. After extended global touring and a short break, Katatonia returned to the studio in late 2011 and recorded Dead End Kings, which appeared in August of 2012. ~ Chris True, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Uhh I just realized they don't have Brave Murder Day on here......wt f
Katatonia kickass
I love Katatonia but Dethroned and Uncrowned is so boring....
Always will be one of my fav bands. Hands down. Perfect Darkness.
New katatonia is just awful but their first 3 albums amazing so glad to see that they have so many of the older tracks on here
Good thing they put Tool in 'Similar Artists' because their song For My Demons reminds me of that band in a way.
Unfurl hardly comes on :(
Meshuggah is what really lead me into all those bands. a good one is Disarmonia Mundi.
I love 'the great cold distance'' by them the most. I caught on to them then, Opeth as well. Katatonia is a band i'll never get tired of listening to.
sad it takes Pandora for a majority of new fans to catch on to what they've been doing for awhile now. they rule. bloodbath is also. who knows why a perfect circle is on the stream of music.. that's a good question. it's already on about anything if anyone's noticed..
this guy below me has no concept of an opinion goodnight
V this guy below me needs to clean his tin ears out. To say that about Steven means you have no concept on what good music is...GOOD DAY!
I would like porcupine tree but the singer's voice is too annoying.
My favorite band. If u just found katatonia congratulati o n s u just found great music.
Swedish Masters of Melodic Gothic Doom. Katatonia are easily one of my favorite bands of all time, right next to Opeth, Metallica, and Black Sabbath. Can't get enough of 'em... and found them here Pandora back in '08! Thank you!
These guys are brutal
Love this band.
The most rock & metal stations on Pandora Radio!
unique not what i expected
Sabb changes....
Anyone getting into Katatonia should listen to their last 3 albums before saying something like x band is better than Katatonia. The band's sound from Great Cold Distance forward is in a genre by itself.
Never heard them. Followed Paradise Lost. Makes sense. PL much better though ( opinion everyone - don't get all pissed ).
romanferrer
Saw them last week in very small club opening for Opeth. Dead End Kings was my intro to this band. Thanks to Metal Requiem Podcast, I learned a lot about them. More I listen, the more I like. Such diversity over the years; always musically interesting; always dark and appealing.
i discovered this band on youtube. such a great unique sound. i'll love them forever :)
Katatonia!! I can't get enough of them...
dcquig68 = douche!! Sounds nothing like them!
Ha... Ripped off porcupine tree? I hate people who have no f**king clue what they are talking about.
dcquig68
somebody should mention in the last decade they have stolen and ripped off Steve Wilson and Porcupine Tree. Good stuff, but it's a copy of porcupine tree stuff.
This is the only album I haven't got from the great Katatonia but I will get it they haven't made a bad album ever. .
Check out my stations
To comment on the new album... its pure gold. I saw Katatonia about a month after the album first released. They played a killer set. Mostly songs off their last two albums, TGCD and Viva. One song from LFDGD and then one from Discouraged Ones. Amazing show, they are Gods.
Wow, bio's super out of date. Someone should mention the last decade and a half, their story's gotten a little bigger and better since LFDGD was released.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Just heard the longest year. Damn how did I Miss these guys all these years? I love Pandora but it also pisses me off how much good stuff it makes me realize I have missed out on! lol
As others have noted - fix the bio!!! Katatonia is one of the most sublime bands in the world. Every release is more intense than the last .. amazing band.
Katatonia is by far one of my favorites. The guitars can be slashing, the drummer David can be pounding, and Jonas' voice remains mellow and smooth. Very unique sound. Keep it up!
R U depressed, i recommend Katatonia, it will make u happy
Amazing band and I agree with jringg. Novembre is bad a**.
Along the same lines, Novembre is pretty damn awesome too!
This bio is SEVERELY lacking in detail. Y U NO SHOW KATATONIA LOVE PANDORA??!1? ? !

/endtrollfac e
Looooove them.
One of the best
Saw Katatonia and Opeth in October 2011 in Orlando . One of the best concerts ever!! Love both bands and to see them paired together was.....heav e n . Both bands underrated and overlooked in America.
Wow, Pandora really needs to update their bio for this band. Katatonia used to be a much more brutal, aggressive doom/death metal band, but they've had a completely different sound ever since, say, The Great Cold Distance or perhaps earlier than that. But with that said, THIS BAND IS AWESOME! I personally prefer the sound they have now, with entirely melodic vocals and music that usually bounces back and forth between softer and heavier parts, a la Opeth. Definitely worth checking out!
Saw Katatonia and Opeth at the start of their 2011 US tour. Katatonia put on a great show. Epic and they sound heavier live than on the studio work.
evil.1985
It was about 3 years ago when my Opeth station kept force feeding me Katatonia. It was a bit uncomfortabl e at first , but I'm very thankful. After a few listens to the songs from Viva Emptiness I went & bought The Black Sessions & they became one of my favorite bands. It still continues...
great music
Epic
I was on LastFM a few years ago and I noticed a lot of people listing Katatonia as their favorite band so I checked them out and have been a huge fan ever since. I saw them last November at a small venue in Philly called the TLA and they were incredible. And I am going to see Opeth and Katatonia
at a similar type place called the Trocadero. I can't believe it. I love Opeth and think and know they are a phenomenal band. I have never seen them so I am really looking forward to Sept.23. Katatonia i
Yup, Opeth and Katatonia will be in my home town on f**kin halloween! Thats some s**t right there...
Opeth and Katatonia touring this summer, can't wait!
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