Album Review: Katatonia - Sky Void of Stars

Album Review: Katatonia - Sky Void of Stars

The masters of progressive gloom and catchy gothic goodness dripping in melancholy vibes, Swedish quintet Katatonia have returned with their 12th studio album ‘Sky Void of Stars;’ quite possibly their highly anticipated record to date.

The band themselves have said of the album: “Our 12th album, Sky Void of Stars is a dynamic journey through vibrant darkness. Born out of yearning for what was lost and not found, the very peripheries of the unreachable, but composed and condensed into human form and presented as sounds and words true to the band’s signum. No stars here, just violent rain.

The record kicks it all off with a tense, intricately riffy and progressive ‘Austerity‘ with huge melodies and catchy choruses. ‘Colossal Shade‘ is a brooding, groovy, mid-tempo stomp whereas ‘Opaline‘ is an elegantly powerful offering full of atmosphere and weaving emotions.

Birds‘ is a huge anthem with its catchy riffs and haunting melodies followed by the melancholy ‘Drab Moon‘ which dips and soars through a multitude of progressive layers. ‘Author‘ begins with weaving emotive vibes before kicking it in to gear with chugging groove laced riffs and an intricate solo. ‘Impermanence‘ is pure emotional power, soaring along until it descends in to one of the most stunning guitar solos produced by the band yet.

Sclera‘ is moody and dramatic followed by ‘Atrium,’ a chant-worthy, emotionally fueled anthem full of synthy atmosphere and huge gothic melodies. ‘No Beacon to Illuminate Our Fall’ displays the band at their most heavily progressive finest as the record descends in to its conclusion with the bonus track ‘Absconder;’ a dramatic, gothic tinged final push full of layered proggy atmosphere.

Gently lulling you in to the warm embrace of darkness with their massive melodies, intricate guitarwork and atmospherically emotionally charged songwriting, Katatonia haven’t disappointed with Sky Void of Stars. This record is certainly more melodic than previous records but it isn’t any less progressive or dark. A strong start to what is gearing up to be an epic year for the band.

Rating: 8.5/10

Release Date: 20th January 2023

Released Via: Napalm Records

For Fans Of: Opeth, Amorphis, Paradise Lost

Favourite Track(s): Austerity, Colossal Shade, Opaline, Birds, Impermanence, Atrium

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