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Tonight's Decision - Katatonia

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Death Metal / Artist: Katatonia / Audio CD released 2003-05-19 at Peaceville

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    3 Reviews
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      14.02.2010 13:32
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      Accessable but convincing shoegaze/gothic rock

      Consolidating upon the change in direction taken in their previous album 'Discouraged Ones', Katatonia's 1998 album 'Tonight's Decision' moves further away from the band's doom/death roots and into more commercial and radio-friendly territory, with the album offering up 11 tracks of Pixies-influenced alt-rock merged with shoegaze/gothic rock sensibilities. The songs are straightforward, and even quite poppy, with consistently melancholy and introspective riffs overlaid with solid, despondent clean vocals, and whilst the songs on 'Tonight's Decision' are both simplistic and fairly minimalist, they manage to avoid sounding the same, with the album remaining thoroughly engaging from start to finish.

      The music still manages to retain some of the 'shoegaze' style of the band's earlier work despite the dramatic change in overall style however, and in places there are clean, delicate, folky chords mixed in amongst the riffs, whilst elsewhere gently introspective, bluesy guitar-lines are employed, and towards the end of the song there is a rather well-observed cover of Jeff Buckley's 'Nightmares By The Sea'. The suitably melancholy, deep-blue-tinted artwork courtesy of Travis Smith also fits the music particularly well.

      'Tonight's Decision' represents a departure away from relevance for a number of the band's older fans, but whilst I am a huge fan of Katatonia's early work, in my opinion they mayanged to make the transition from doom/death to slick gothic rock successfully, producing a number of excellent if commercial albums before eventually running out of steam and beginning to dilute their new sound on more recent releases 'The Great Cold Distance' and Night is the New Day', with 'Tonights Decision' standing as one of the best moments of the second half of the band's career.

      Tracklisting-

      1. For My Demons 05:47
      2. I Am Nothing 04:37
      3. In Death, a Song 04:51
      4. Had To (Leave) 06:03
      5. This Punishment 02:46
      6. Right Into the Bliss 05:04
      7. No Good Can Come of This 04:24
      8. Strained 04:15
      9. A Darkness Coming 05:01
      10. Nightmares by the Sea (Jeff Buckley cover) 04:15
      11. Black Session 07:01

      Total playing time 54:04

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        14.07.2009 19:29
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        For fans of Opeth and Bloodbath who are looking for something a bit slower, but equally melancholy.

        Tonight's Decision is the fourth album from diverse Swedish metal band Katatonia. (Not to be confused with 90s Britpop group, 'Catatonia.')

        Katatonia share members and are associated with acts like Bloodbath, Opeth, Swallow the Sun, Diabolical Masquerade and October Tide.

        Tonight's Decision really signifies this bands move into a more mainstream genre. Although this had previously become apparent in 'Discouraged Ones', the shift between doomy 'Paradise-Lost' worship to more a more darkwave, shoegaze gothic rock style is very obvious here and has been the source of some criticism.
        The album art is disctinctive and definitely worth mentioning. It features a spectral male figure in shades of black and blue standing on a rail road track, some excellent photography here. The images really capture the senses of isolation and futility reflected in the lyrics and even moreso, the pace and tone of the music.

        This album has the melancholy feel of all of Katatonia's early work, but this time it is infinitely less heavy, featuring slow-tempo dropped-guitar dirges evolving into memorable lead choruses. As gimmicky as this may seem, it works quite well when paried with the Opeth-esque keyboard backing, although unfortunately the drum work is a little lackluster, with little vitality.

        Surprising as it may sound, and contrary to the opinions of elitist black metal magazine columnists, Katatonia have successfully retained their integrity whilst taking their music in such an unorthodox direction.

        In spite of the genre of this album, and the much unfounded association it has received with lame adolescent angst, I feel the album is a really interesting piece, as it shows a great deal of evolution in the band's excellent, if less-than-eclectic back catalogue.

        1. For My Demons
        2. I Am Nothing
        3. In Death, a Song
        4. Had To (Leave)
        5. This Punishment
        6. Right Into the Bliss
        7. No Good Can Come of This
        8. Strained
        9. A Darkness Coming
        10. Nightmares By the Sea (Jeff Buckley cover)
        11. Black Session

        (Release date: 1999)

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          12.08.2008 12:32
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          Katatonia's fourth album (1999).

          Where 'Discouraged Ones' introduced a lighter, more radio-friendly version of Sweden's Katatonia, it's with 'Tonight's Decision' that the band really strives to reach a mainstream audience, losing much of the respect of their former fan base by focusing on conventional structures and contemporary gimmicks.

          The songs favour a medium tempo that slows to a crawl in songs like the overlong 'Had To (Leave)' without the style of the dirges from earlier in the band's career, and for me, the melancholy atmosphere is consistently spoiled by light keyboards and booming rock choruses. Each song relies on repetition in a more annoying manner than the band's previous yet equally repetitive work, and the lyrics of songs such as 'For My Demons' are now almost a self-parody of gothic indulgence.

          Still seemingly trying to appeal to a modern metal crowd, the guitars have an irritating tendency to use pinch harmonics in the style of bands such as Machine Head, and it's only really in the heavier 'Strained' and 'Black Session' that the listener gets any clue that this is the same band that released 'Brave Murder Day.'

          1. For My Demons
          2. I Am Nothing
          3. In Death, a Song
          4. Had To (Leave)
          5. This Punishment
          6. Right Into the Bliss
          7. No Good Can Come of This
          8. Strained
          9. A Darkness Coming
          10. Nightmares By the Sea (Jeff Buckley cover)
          11. Black Session

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      • Product Details

        Disc #1 Tracklisting
        1 For My Demons
        2 I Am Nothing
        3 In Death A Song
        4 Had To (Leave)
        5 This Punishment
        6 Right Into The Bliss
        7 No Good Can Come Of This
        8 Starined
        9 Darkness Coming
        10 Nightmares By The Sea
        11 Black Session
        12 No Devotion
        13 Fractured

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