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Last Fair Day Gone Night
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  • Katatonia fans who missed out on the 2012 triple-vinyl-only Last Fair Day Gone Night thought they missed out on an exceptional live set, and in terms of packaging fetishism, they did. This deluxe package goes a long way and them some toward rectifying that situation. It collects all of the songs from the vinyl edition of the band's run at London's Koko in 2011, presented over two discs. The first contains a track-for-track performance of Last Fair Deal Gone Down -- it was year of the album's tenth anniversary and the band's 20th. The record is significant because it marks Katatonia's first full departure from metal. This dynamic glance at the past comes through the blasted gaze of their sonic and musical evolution. It's still ferociously heavy, but its textures, spaces, and melodies are far more expansive yet in sharper focus. The remainder is comprised of several tunes from Night Is the New Day -- their then-current studio offering -- and Great Cold Distance, with the remainder culled from all studio offerings besides 1996's Dance of December Souls, thus making for a true live retrospective. (For those wondering if Katatonia is still capable of delivering death metal at this point, a listen to "Brave," the disc opener, should dispel any reservations.). This package also includes a DVD of the music from the audio discs, but more importantly, a second one containing a 132-minute biographical documentary as narrated by Katatonia's Jonas Renkse and Anders Nystrm. While it's true that many of the stories told here have previously made rounds on the web, but having them assembled officially as a whole, with loads of additional material and outstanding quality, is a serious bonus. ~ Thom Jurek
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