Brave Murder Day

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Band Name Katatonia
Album Name Brave Murder Day
Type Album
Erscheinungsdatum Juli 1996
Recorded at Unisound Studio
Musik GenreDeath Doom
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Tracklist

Re-Issue in 2006 by Peaceville Records
1.
 Brave
 10:16
2.
 Murder
 04:54
3.
 Day
 04:28
4.
 Rainroom
 06:31
5.
 12
 08:18
6.
 Endtime
 06:45

Total playing time: 41:12



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Review @ Satanicarchangel

24 Juni 2013

Essential

Whereas previously I have said on many occasion that Far Away From The Sun is the high point of metal and can never be beaten, I may have to change my views based upon repeated listening of Brave Murder Day. An album that I can safely say is quite possibly the best metal album I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Brave Murder Day marks an important transitional period for the band from the original Blackened Death/Doom style to the Depressive Metal band we all know today. Compared to Dance of December Souls, Brave Murder Day takes a more accessible, softer and melodic direction yet still in keeping with their original Death/Doom sound. Whereas Dance of December Souls was bleak and harrowing, being profoundly emotional as well, Brave Murder Day sounds far less bleak with some sections that are surprisingly vaguely uplifting. Brave Murder Day is more emotional and compact than their previous works with elements that are much more melodic and accessible before, a few traits of their new sound can be traced back to this album right here. Brave Murder Day uses clean vocals for the first time in their career, along with deeper and more monstrous growls than those of Dance of December Souls.

Musically this album marks an important stylistic change, whereas Dance of December Souls was funereal almost dirge like yet at the same time being fairly melodic, the sound of that album was crushing and oppressive. Brave Murder Day is far more melodic, not as oppressive and is nowhere near as dark. Of course Brave Murder Day is still depressing, dark and dreary but not on the same level as Dance of December Souls. Brave Murder Day sounds closer to Discouraged Ones rather than Dance of December Souls, although some of you may well be scratching your head at that comment, after all Discouraged Ones is more of a Depressive Rock album than anything metal related. However the minimalistic and emotional song writing on Brave Murder Day found its way onto Discouraged Ones. Brave Murder Day has all the elements that make up its follow up, repetitive hypnotic guitars, the doomy groove, the sheer atmosphere and emotion and focus on simplicity. Brave Murder Day has all the elements that make up the follow up releases yet with the difference of being wrapped up in a Death/Doom package and having much longer songs. Whilst listening to this album it really doesn’t surprise me that Katatonia changed their sound the way they did.

Brave Murder Day can best be described as the middle ground between the intense Death/Doom of Dance of December Souls and the suicidal feelings of Discouraged Ones. Katatonia flirt with the best elements of all of their eras to create the best release of their entire discography. The really long song lengths of Dance of December Souls are cut down to 6-7 minutes with the longest track “Brave” clocking in at 10:16. Brave Murder Day isn’t a difficult album to listen to, the music is fairly simple and highly melodic, it’s emotionally dense yet it’s not as bleak and soul destroying as Dance of December Souls. The atmosphere is dense and suffocating yet with a faint sense of hope penetrating the murk. Brave Murder Day is able to convert negative energy into positive energy, something quite strange for an album this bleak. However it seems to be the goal of the musicians to add some faint degree of positivity to the album, as though in adding a faint sense of irony to the music Katatonia managed to create an album that revels in depression. Despite sounding a bit too joyous for a so called depressing album this album seems to love being depressed, as though it is better than being happy. It’s a strange and endearing atmosphere and one that holds a dark sense of irony.

The music has the tendency to put the listener in a trance like state, the repetitive hypnotic guitars that play heart breaking melodies and the misanthropic vocals create the trance whilst the drums and chugging rhythm guitars create the groundwork for this albums wall of sound effect. The production is perfect for Brave Murder Day; being slightly raw and unpolished it works well with the bleak and dismal music, further emphasizing the emotional stopping power.

Brave Murder Day is a classic in the metal underground, and for good reason, Katatonia’s approach to Death/Doom seems to have laid down the foundation for the modern Death/Doom style, rather than the original movement pioneered by the Peaceville three. Where as the afore mentioned bands were far more riff happy and structured, whereas Katatonia opted to repeat the same riffs over and over again, avoiding the hallmarks of traditional Death/Doom Metal. Brave Murder Day is an excellent album, in my eyes this album does no wrong, it does everything right from the heartbreaking melodies, to the misanthropic vocals, to the powerful and dense atmosphere. Brave Murder Day is a milestone in emotional expression through music. This is essential.

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