Katatonia
Live Consternation CDDVD

In today’s musical world, we are lucky enough to receive DVD’s of some of our favorite artists. Underground or not, it’s just as important as the damn CD anymore and even no name acts are scrounging up the money and producing low budget concert footage. It may not be as good as actually attending the show but some skillfully shot video can seize us in the moment. Sweden’s bleak rockers Katatonia have delivered one of these captivating live DVD’s and for fans, it’s well worth the money.

Personally, I can’t get into live footage that much. It bores me unless it’s an obscure band I’ve never seen. Even then I find myself only viewing them a time or two. However, I set back with a few beers last evening and truly enjoyed the eleven-song set Katatonia played at the Summerbreeze Open Air last year in Germany. Katatonia have such a unique atmosphere that surrounds their music anyway, to see it performed only adds to the mood these guys portray. The sound quality is amazing. I could hear each individual instrument perfectly. The guitars are very high in the mix and I was actually stunned at how well Fredrik Norrman and Anders Nystrom weave their dissonant guitar melodies. Anders Nystrom is an awe-inspiring musician. I love the music even more now that I have seen him at work.

Lead vocalist Jonas Renske sounds just as good and I was once again given a glimpse of how important of a role Anders plays in the band. He sings a lot more backing vocals than are heard on disc. It was quite fascinating watching Jonas and Anders work their vocals. This is what makes a good DVD. If it can make the band look good then its done its job, but when you notice other qualities about that band that you didn’t hear previously on disc, that’s capturing something special.

The band plays tracks from their recently acclaimed new release The Great Cold Distance. Songs like “Soil Song” and “July” are some of my personal favorites. “July” was performed amazingly. They also go into their back catalogue and play songs from The Discouraged Ones and Tonight’s Decision. Sorry old school doomers, Jonas is just physically incapable of producing those black/death vocals. However, watching this just proves they still are equally passionate and the music isn’t to far from the old days. They don’t waste much time either. Songs are played back to back without any talking except for thanks here and there.

The CD is just a recorded version of the show. Kind of lame, I would rather have seen behind the scene footage or something. Nothing annoys me more than recorded live discs anyway. At least I can watch it on TV. Riding around listening to it isn’t going to suffice. That’s about the only downfall here. Whether you are into new Katatonia or old, I suggest viewing this DVD. Live Consternation only proves how special of a band Katatonia are and how their music really has progressed further than we ever could have expected.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
August 10th, 2007

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