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katatonia cityburials
Artist: Katatonia
Title: City Burials
Genre: Metal / Progressive Metal
Date: 24th April 2020
Label: Peaceville Records

Album Review

Shortly after the release of their tenth album ‘The Fall Of Hearts’ in 2016, KATATONIA announced that the band will do a break and had cancelled some dates. The fans feared that they would never see Jonas Renkse and his men on stage again. It has to be said that such breaks usually turn out to be the end of a career. But the fans can be reassured. In February 2019, the band announced their return to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their 2009 album, ‘Night Is the New Day’, with an anniversary tour and deluxe release of the album. And this year, the Swedes are indeed back with their eleventh album ‘City Burials’! And judging by the cover, the melancholic darkness that normally inhabits the compositions of the Stockholmers seems to be the rule again in this new work.

The first one is ‘Heart Set To Divide’. This song is introduced by Jonas’ voice and chords, which are plated as a kind of “harmonic backbone”, develop fluently towards a more intricate riffing. Without following a traditional verse/ chorus structure, KATATONIA manages to spread enough markings to allow us to grasp the title without difficulty. The first surprise of the album comes from the choice of the first single ‘Lacquer’. Although the band has two guitarists in their ranks, the six-string instrument seems to have left the song. In a dark register with an atmospheric side, the title is endowed with the sensibility the band has accustomed us to in recent years. In a more or less similar register, ‘Vanishers’ also manages to be one of the strongest songs on the album.

With its minimalist approach, the female vocals of Anni Bernhard (FULL OF KEYS) and Jonas Renkse on the choruses are a small miracle. With the fact that the band released a live album ‘Sanctitude’ full of acoustically reworked tracks a few years ago, we wonder how this track could have sounded unplugged once. But KATATONIA is above all a metal band, if we refer to their original style. And here again, some unexpected new features are emerging, like the surprisingly dynamic riff on the second single ‘Behind The Blood’. The energy of the latter and the pop choir of ‘The Winter Of Our Passing’ contribute to making ‘City Burials’ a contrasting album with several dimensions. KATATONIA offers itself a variety of approaches without ever concealing itself: KATATONIA’s paw remains marked by sadness and darkness under all circumstances.

With this new album, KATATONIA proves once again its ability to transport the listener into wintery spheres, lulled by a warm and painful voice, and to arouse emotions in no time at all. An interesting record that you can listen to with the greatest pleasure.


01. Heart Set To Divide
02. Behind The Blood
03. Lacquer
04. Rein
05. The Winter Of Our Passing
06. Vanishers
07. City Glaciers
08. Flicker
09. Lachesis
10. Neon Epitaph
11. Untrodden
Bonus Tracks available on various formats
12. Closing Of The Sky
13. Fighters


Jonas Renkse – Vocals
Anders Nyström – Guitar
Niklas Sandin – Bass
Daniel Moilanen – Drums
Roger Öjersson – Guitar


Cover Picture

katatonia cityburials


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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