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Review of the Album "Brave Murder Day" by Swedish Death Metal Band Katatonia

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

There is a Major Musical Contribution On This Album

Brave Murder Day is the 1996 studio album by Swedish death metal band Katatonia and it is also their last album to feature this doom and death metal style before they would transition into a more progressive rock kind of style. Also, one thing that changes things musically at least slightly is the fact that Mikael Akerfeldt of the band Opeth contributes on this album doing the harsh vocals. There is a reissue of this album by Century Black and that version has the tracks from the band’s For Funerals to Come… mini album. But for the purposes of this review and analysis we will just focus on the six songs that are part of the original album.

Mikael Akerfeldt of the Band Opeth


About the Songs in Brave Murder Day

There are the songs Brave, Murder, and Day released as three separate songs so it is like separating the album’s title into three parts if that makes any sense. This album has 6 songs for over 41 minutes and this approach resembles the Morningrise album which had only 5 songs on it but that one was over 66 minutes long. It is significantly longer than this album. Stylistically, Brave Murder Day resembles artists of that time period including Theatre of Tragedy and Paradise Lost when they were of that heavy death metal style. Other than the lead vocals on the 3rd song “Day” the lead vocals on this album are performed by Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt. There is also the feel of the band Before the Dawn in the first song “Brave.” There is a feel of a dark sort of metal music moment in this song but it is still very well done. Think of much of the album feeling like a mishmash of musical influences like Opeth combined with other bands. For clarification purposes it must be said that Mikael performs all of the harsh vocal parts in this album. The next song “Murder” continues the same mid-tempo pace that we heard in the first song. Then the song kind of slows down after the first growling part.

“Rainroom” sometimes spelled Rain Room continues in the style that the band Before the Dawn would use as the song is about seeing someone walk through life as if they are lifeless and just going through the motions. Meanwhile, the man described in the song believes that he can achieve everything when he prays.


Final Thoughts About the Album Brave Murder Day

Now there’s an interesting way for Katatonia to have a collaborative sort of effort on one of their albums and the result is one of the best albums in Katatonia’s career. The name is on this album and by this it means that this is a brave effort, a bold move by one of the most well-known Swedish metal bands and it is remarkable given the fact that they have faced so much competition with the plethora or amount of great Swedish metal bands that we have seen over the years. Lyrically. Songs such as “12” are kind of complex but the guitar work is really pretty. Is Brave Murder Day a better album than Dance of December Souls? You can be the judge of that for yourself. You can’t go wrong with either of these first two Katatonia albums as both of them are solid in their own way. This second release might have more melodic and better guitar work in the softer parts while the debut may be a better early death metal album.

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© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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