- Audio CD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Century Media
- ASIN: 5554785409
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
finally this album is an elegant way to express emotional decay......it's a cult album and a classic among the european fans ....of course who love sad music...
my advice is to buy it...but you could listen to it first.....
This is an album truly greater than the sum of its parts. Distant, simple production, elementary guitar melodies and riffs that would probably look very dry on paper, drums and bass that are entirely bereft of frills and serving the purely utilitarian purpose of rhythmic anchor -- overall, it would seem like rather basic, amateurish stuff. And yet the end results are really amazing. Firstly, the atmosphere of this album -- generated by the melodic quality of the riffs, the dreary production sound, cold sterile rhythm section, and despondent sludgy walls of guitar -- is incredibly arresting. It is the synaesthesia of gray, which is coterminous with its sense of being "rainy day" music (listening to this album is greatly complemented by proper environment). Also the songs are perfectly executed through their structure. Songs tend to be relatively long, usually 6+ minutes, flowing through 'movements' rather than verses and choruses. Usually a key theme is repeated to resolve the song and bring a degree of added emotional clarity. The whole album is characterized by its highly economical, mood-intensive arrangements. Even though different sections may not be related to others musically, the overall emotional flow and mood-sustaining arc makes it very effective. In "Brave", the beginning and end of the piece is a riff that is almost overwrought and 'washing,' and yet when it returns at the resolution of the song it is haunting and powerful both because of its familiarity and because of the sense of resolution it brings. The starry 4/4 sprinkled guitar notes of the middle section, melodic metal frame, and the intense performance of Mikael Akerfeldt all enhance the power of the song's flow. Of course, it is also very important that Akerfeldt does the growled vocals on this album. The album is about 80% growling and this is possibly the best vocal performance of Akerfeldt (from Opeth, by the way, if you don't know) that I have heard to date. Tormented, emotive, and raw, he is integral to this album's success. The other songs aren't really worth describing entirely, since they are basically just variations on the theme, so to speak, but they are all effective, especially the distinctive loud-soft dynamics of "12" (although it's a bit of overkill on the last riff there). One track is notably different: "Day", where the band makes one of the most hypnotic metal 'ballads' out of relatively pedestrian Pod-ish guitar effects, basic chord progressions, a singer who sounds like he's about to keel over and die, and a dry static drum machine beat. "Endtime" uses some voice samples effectively, backed by ashen, somber arpeggios.
I have the version of _Brave Murder Day_ which also sports the EP _For Funerals to Come..._, which is an excellent complement to the main cd. "Funeral Weddings" and "Shades of Emerald Fields" are epic, melodic, and dreary. Unfortunately they have a few cheesy Iron Maiden-ish riffs that don't totally gel with the band's mood, but for the most part it works beautifully. The EP's title track is a mellow piece with clean electric guitar and some subtle background synths. "Epistel" is a basic noise experiment.
_Brave Murder Day_ is a fine accomplishment. If you don't like the growly vocals though, one might prefer to stick with Katatonia's albums from _Discouraged Ones_ forward (no growls, more 'gothic' sounding).