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Review of the Album "Tonight’s Decision" by Swedish Metal Band Katatonia

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

About Tonight's Decision and the Members That Play On the Album

Tonight’s Decision is the 4th studio album by Swedish metal band Katatonia. There are certain albums that we might allow to grow on us musically as we deeply analyze them.

Just like the album’s title, on the night of June 12, 2021 was the decision that this review would come into fruition and that was the tonight that we are referring to. “For My Demons” is the song that starts off this album with a few guitar taps and then the main riff is very heavy Gothic rock in nature and it sounds like something Lacuna Coil would use in their later albums. Joining members Jonas Renkse and Anders Nystrom on this album are Fredrik Norrman and Dan Swano. Norrman plays the rhythm guitar and the bass guitars. Dan Swano plays as a guest drummer on this album.

The full moon in the night sky. This photo symbolizes the album's title which has to do with night time.

The full moon in the night sky. This photo symbolizes the album's title which has to do with night time.

Tonight's Decision Continues the Evolution of Katatonia Into an Even Better Band

Listening to this album Tonight’s Decision, you might get the sense that Katatonia is one of those bands that gradually improves their songwriting as they go from album to album, getting better slowly. Those of you that prefer the early Katatonia albums will find this album to be a major shock to your musical system. Those of us that are flexible and can adapt to change will be able to appreciate this album for what it is.


More Detailed Analysis of the Songs On "Tonight's Decision"

In spite of there being song titles such as “In Death, a Song” the mood of the album does not drag you down into the depths of some sad abyss. The song is about being subject to darkness brought onto the person. “Had to (Leave)” stylistically resembles other bands of the time period or at least a little before such as The 3rd and the Mortal. The song has that Gothic rock feel to it but it is not as dark feeling as that mentioned band. “Strained” is a song that some of us may be able to relate to. There is an attempt by some us to live our lives again, to try and take a step back and see where things were going wrong. It is like a course correction. It is also after a while evident to some of us that the band may have been going through hard times in their lives as the song “Black Session” tells us. It is not only that song that allows us to get a glimpse into what the band members were going through at the time. Another example of a song that is lyrically about personal struggles is the first song.

"I Am Nothing"

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Final Thoughts

Tonight’s Decision is an album that shows the greatness of Katatonia but not in the way that you might think. These guys don’t try to impress you with brilliant speeds and melody. Instead, they use a more progressive rock kind of approach and they just try to lead you into their thought processes so to speak. Listening to albums such as this and going forward as of this writing, I get the sense that Katatonia changed their style and may have actually become better as a band. Songs such as “This Punishment” show that based on the vocal approach, there is a feeling of being despondent but vocalist Jonas Renkse keeps himself together as there is an attempt by the band to try and present the blissful side of life as well. Speaking of bliss, the song “Right Into the Bliss” is a song that lyrically tells the listener to believe that one day, we will get into that path that leads into the bliss that we seek even if there are times when we get pushed away from every chance and it makes it harder to get to where we want to get to. As of this analysis, Tonight’s Decision is an album that is a few notches above their previous work because not all the songs have the exact same structure and you can get a better sense of what Jonas was feeling and going through at the time.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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