Label: Peaceville Release date: 02/11/09 Website: http://www.katatonia.com Katatonia started out as a black and doom metal band, but after lead singer Jonas Renske was rendered unable to perform death growls, the band forged on in a new direction. With the release of Night Is The New Day, the band has completed the transformation from doom to melodic metal. From opener ‘Forsaker’ to closing song ‘Departer,’ each song shows that Katatonia can hold equal ground in either genre – however, the effort is ultimately more tiresome than epic. While each song is steeped in heavy Gothic influence, from the dramatic string swells on many songs (especially ‘Idle Blood’) to the grand piano that echoes ever so gently, the downtuned guitars shove the album back into the metal territory. This effort, though, always seems dire rather than natural, and leads to an unbalanced sound. There is one redeeming factor to this album: the production. Each second has been recorded beautifully, and the obvious talents of each band member shine without glistening in post-production. The drums are clean and clear, each guitar has enough crunch for the song, and the vocal doubletracks and harmonies are impeccable. Take ‘Nephilim,’ for instance – the song’s huge crescendo is powerful, massive, and genuinely gorgeous sounding. But the failed nu-metal attempt that is ‘Liberation’ leaves the production just so on par with most metal. Ultimately, this album isn’t going to win Katatonia any new fans. The people who wanted to stay for their transformation will be satisfied, and those who left will find reasons to justify. Personally, I thought it as just pretty damn okay. Rating: 6/10