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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Katatonia website  Katatonia - Viva Emptiness [Peaceville - 2003]

I've never been the biggest Katatonia fan in the world, but I've enjoyed most of their works over the years and so I own a couple of their albums. Viva Emptiness is their latest effort in depressive hard rock with it's legs firmly in the metal scene.

I think Katatonia have a healty dose of talent, but up till now they never released their ultimate album. An album where I should get the feeling they really put in everything they've got. So since I first heard Dance Of December Souls I've been waiting for their holy grail. I can't say Viva Emptiness is this album. It has a couple of pretty good songs, but like previous full lenght Last Fair Deal Gone Down not everything is up to par.

Album opener Ghost Of The Sun is great. It sets the mood for the album perfecty: depressive and dark. The song itself is one of Katatonia's finest, and I wish everything on Viva Emptiness has this quality. The band does the same trick as on their previous three albums, and I'm getting a little bit tired of it. There is some small progression in their sound. Viva Emptiness is their heaviest album since Brave Murder Day. But heavy does not equal better. I know not every band has to change directions, but when the songwriting is lacking, and everything else seems formulatic, things are getting quite tedious. Because with the exception of Ghost Of The Sun, Criminals, the Opethian One Year From Now, Evidence and the beautiful acoustic Omerta, everything else is pretty dull. That's five out of thirteen tracks. Katatonia do have some nice ideas in a couple of other songs, but combined with the bad ideas they don't fully come to fruition.

So Viva Emptiness is another one of those albums that will start to collect dust after I push 'submit' on the form to publish this review. I know Katatonia have it in them, but it still hasn't come out fully. I can enjoy a couple of tracks, but in the end I wished Viva Emptiness was just a five-song EP. I guess die-hard Katatonia fans can pick this up, others should take a listen first and decide if they really need another Katatonia album.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Niels van Rongen
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