(10/10) "The Fall of Hearts" is one of these albums in 2016 that I was curiously waiting for. Not only that the band is releasing one good record after the other, they are also constantly improving their sound. What is really smart is the fact that development seems to be something natural for the band from Sweden. It's like the guys being constantly pushing the limits and stretching the boarders without losing the bands roots. Katatonia gets better and better with each release, something that's ongoing now for many year, including nine longplayer, with number ten to be released this May.
"The Fall of Hearts" is great, I can say this already at this stage. And even though the band faced a line-up change (Daniel Moilanen and Roger Öjersson (Tiamat)) their music got even stronger.
The Swedish prog metal masters added twelve new chapters of beautiful darkness to our lives, each of them a little highlight in itself.
"Takeover" is first and it's a song that is 100% Katatonia. Melancholy, gentle melodies and pure emotion, that's the opener. The tune is basically kept rather silent with a heavier peak towards the end, something that's a good bridge to "Serein". You might have seen already the lyric video that was done for this beautiful songs. Compared to some other numbers on "The Fall of Hearts" it's a more light-hearted track that has a catchy melody and some well-placed hooks.
One of the more introvert songs on the album is "Old Hearts Falls" while tracks like "Serac", with its heavy sections that are in a constant interplay with fragile moments, and the raging "Passer" show the more metallic side of Katatonia. The great thing is, that the five-piece switches between these expressions like a chameleon changing colours. By doing this Katatonia offers thrilling songs while staying still 100% authentic, and all this with an own unique sound.
But what would all these outstanding songs be like if they would have got a production that kills the entire spirit. They would be worth nothing and Katatonia knows that. Therefore the guys took all the responsibility themselves, meaning it was Anders Nystrom and Jonas Renske that produced the new longplayer at the Studio Grondahl in Stockholm while it was Jens Bogren doing the mix and mastering. The guys gave the album the sound it deserves. The production is powerful, nuanced and pays attention to details by still being warm and organic.
"The Fall of Hearts" is the highlight so far in 2016. I love this longplayer and I can highly recommend it to each of you, regardless which sub-metal genre you're into., this album is a beautiful piece of music that is touching, moving, heavy and powerful. I don't know what could have been done better and therefore it's one of the seldom moments of giving ten points to such a masterpiece.
- Old Heart Falls
- Last Song Before The Fade
- The Night Subscriber
- Pale Flag
Genre: Prog Metal
Release Date EU: May 20st, 2016