Katatonia

Tonight's Decision

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    8
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Tonight's Decision continues in the song-oriented direction of 1998's Discouraged Ones, but with an even greater emphasis on verse-chorus-verse songwriting. The guitars churn more heavily than on that album and the drums are a little more aggressive; however, the production is slicker on the whole, almost to the point of sounding ready for mainstream rock radio. Jonas Renske's vocals are again cleanly sung (as opposed to growled), and he has even added a falsetto to his arsenal. In other words, this album is a pretty far cry from the black metal-leaning style of their earlier records. On the other hand, the depressive melodies and lyrics are pure Katatonia, and the songwriting is solid throughout: "Black Session," "For My Demons," and "Right Into the Bliss" hold their own next to the cover of Jeff Buckley's "Nightmares by the Sea." It won't please fans hoping for the band to return to their earlier style, but taken on its own terms, Tonight's Decision is still a strong record, and one which suggests that greater commercial success isn't out of the question for these melancholy Swedes.

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