EP Review: Katatonia - "The Longest Year"

While “Night is the New Day,” has barely cooled from the forge, Katatonia is capitalizing on the moment and released a companion EP, “The Longest Year.” Almost as if to say “Wait, we’re not done, there’s a piece we’d like to add!” Katatonia pushed two new tracks and two new mixes down the pipe, with a couple companion videos to go with it.

New single “The Longest Year” is another intricate chapter in the band’s proven history. Managing to mix both the crunch of metal guitar and the usual expected ambiance of progressive music, Katatonia popped out a single worthy of any of their records.

“Sold Heart,” the other previously unreleased track, is less to write home about, but isn’t by any means an awful song. If you’re into the band’s usual flavor of melancholy quasi-metal, you’ll enjoy it.

The two new mixes really help turn the EP into something more than a glorified single. On both “Day and Then The Shade,” and “Idle Blood,” the re-imagining of the songs helped create a different but curious idiom from the sound that fans are used to. Rather than create a mood with gloomy guitar and understated drum, the new mixes use synthesized and digital effects to provide each track with more vitality. They almost become Euro-pop in the end. This lends each one a beat that makes each song more multi-faceted and concurrently more listenable.

“The Longest Year” is a nice companion for “Night is the New Day,” and Katatonia completists will find it a worthy investment.

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