Katatonia’s new live album, Sanctitude, is out. This album is a recording from the tour they did in support of Dethroned and Uncrowned, an album on which they took the songs from Dead End Kings, stripped out the “metal” elements, and reworked the songs with acoustic and ambient instrumentation.
I actually have mixed feelings about Dethroned and Uncrowned. I think it’s a great experiment, but it often feels like a very subtractive experience, for lack of a better word. It’s hard for me to listen to it without focusing on what they’ve taken away from the songs, and so most of the time, I’d rather listen to Dead End Kings.
Sanctitude, on the other hand, really breathes fresh life into these acoustic arrangements. The songs feel like they stand on their own. And it’s not just songs from Dead End Kings/Dethroned and Uncrowned that you’ll find here – the band went back through their nearly their discography to rework songs into acoustic arrangements. (No acoustic reworkings from Dance of December Souls, but I think every other major release of their career is represented by at least one song.) I was quite pleasantly surprised by how well songs like “Gone” and “Day” work in their new acoustic arrangements.
I’ve put together a Spotify playlist containing the original of the each song from Sanctitude (except for “Unfurl” – the original is not available on Spotify at the moment) and the acoustic version side-by-side. If you’re new to Katatonia, this would be a great way to explore the range of what this band has to offer. If you’re a long-time fan, I hope you’ll enjoy the trip through the band’s history.