Review by Jack on March 7, 2002.
The second of Katatonia’s releases (not counting the EP; “Saw You Drown”) in phase II of their musical history. “Tonight’s Decision” is Katatonia at a pivotal moment in their musical careers. The formula that Katatonia set ablaze on “Saw You Drown”/”Discouraged Ones” has been solidified into a more concrete basis in that Katatonia is once again having people standing up and taking notice.
From the opening track, ‘For My Demons’; one can tell that they have stumbled upon a Katatonia record, not a cheap copy. Despite the fact that Katatonia have changed many aspects about their music, going from a doom/atmospheric death metal sound to more gothic/doom rock style, one can still tell that it is Katatonia despite the large fluctuations in base musical styles. By that I mean the initial identifiable Katatonia sound is still the deep, repetitive riffing that guitarist Anders Nyström has been strumming out since Katatonia’s ignition many a year ago. However, don’t make the mistake that this strong similarity on all albums may be bland and/or boring. While still utilizing the same approach as in all Katatonia albums, Anders Nyström’s playing still remains bold and invigorating for a new or seasoned listener.
Some things however never change and Katatonia suddenly turning into a band that writes happy-go-lucky lyrics is the day that I know I will never see. Covering the contemporary topics of today, death and depression and so on, Katatonia are still writing the sad and morose lyrics that brought them to the top of the crop with their trademark doom/death metal sound in the early years.
Few negatives can be uttered about “Tonight’s Decision”; I do feel the guitars are a little high up in the production mix though, which helps to drown out Jonas’ already weak voice. Speaking of Jonas, his vocal work had not quite reached its peak in “Tonight’s Decision” and it would be something that would not be fully realised until “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”.
Bottom Line: Certainly a ‘safe’ record from Katatonia, they didn’t break the mold from “Discouraged Ones”. “Tonight’s Decision” is a polished “Discouraged Ones” and well worth a look.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.9 out of 10