A live set recorded at a summer festival in Germany in 2006, Live Consternation reveals Scandinavian trio Katatonia's full transformation from their early, doomy black metal sound to a much more accessible, almost poppy, brand of gothy hard rock. In fact, between guitarist Blackheim's fondness for lots of sustain and one-chord solos and singer Jonas Renske's much smoother and more earnest vocal style (for medical reasons, he is basically physically unable to do the old Cookie Monster routine anymore), along with the epic minor-key tunes, at this point in their career, Katatonia basically sound like metal's answer to late-period R.E.M. While old-school diehards may find Live Consternation unbearably wimpy, even the older material on this album benefits from the less aggressive, but equally passionate, new sound. Early editions of Live Consternation pair the CD with a DVD of the same performance.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason