Katatonia is still coming down a pretty interesting road since forming in Sweden over two decades ago. In '92, their demo tape Jhva Elohim Meth, released later that year as the Jhva Elohim Meth ... The Revival EP, officially plants them in the metal scene, namely in the doom/death genre. Then comes their Discouraged Ones album in '98 where, after discarding the death growls and most of their doom/death elements, Katatonia start sounding less like their previous works and more like Billy Idol joining The Cure [early] and playing metal. Building on this new direction with each album to follow (seven and counting), Katatonia continuously refines the heavy-yet-tenderly-morose sound that has become distinctly their own, and their latest opus Dethroned and Uncrowned (2013, Peaceville/Kscope) is no exception. This record is a reallocation of the instrumental priorities and a dynamic reinterpretation of the 2012 album Dead End Kings. While they are essentially the same album in terms of lyrics, tracklist, etc., musically they are quite different from each other. Listen. Feel.
Anyway, Katatonia has just concluded their "Uncrowned and Vertikal" tour North America with Intronaut, TesseracT, and Cult of Luna. Before watching their spectacular performance at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, I had the chance to sit down with Niklas and Daniel of Sweden's "masters of melancholy."
-Death Metal Joe
*Special thanks to Mark Lagges, and camera operator Meredith Hatcher.