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Viva Emptiness

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(5 Reviews)

Katatonia Biography - Katatonia Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands


  • Tracks:
  • When
  • Ghost of Perdition
  • Under the Weeping Moon
  • Bleak


Regarded by many, including the band themselves, as Katatonia’s finest album, originally released in 2003, this is a special digipak reissue. Peaceville. 2005.

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  • This was my introduction to this band, and it made them my favorite band. My previous favorite, Misery Loves Co. disbanded in ‘00. But this band creates a darkness unrivaled by any other band I’ve listened to. It’s not a brutal, horror-movie kind of darkness, but a psychological and depressive kind of atmosphere… like Sin City w/o any happy parts.

    One of the stand-out tracks lyrically, is the song ‘Criminals.’ The singer apologizes for leaving his wife/lover behind to be killed by someone else… in pain he wills her strength:

    “So gather your strength and break free
    Or you will surely die
    Gather your strength don’t follow me
    ‘Cause I will surely die”

    This album–every time I crank it up–reminds me of fall. They’re THAT good at conjuring mental imagery. Of any well known band they probably compare with A Perfect Circle more than anyone else.

    Another one, a fan favorite, “omerta,” seems like a light drinking song, until you listen carefully to the lyrics and realize… its a suicide note. (Or someone just poisoned him–its tad ambiguous.) The last half of the album almost has a spiritual quality… it seems to lift off the ground and attain a dreamlike state.

    There are some people who were really, really down on this album when it came out… and usually I just say, “That’s their opinion.” Well, never has an opinion been MORE wrong than the one that does not give credit to what these swedes have done so masterfully…

    And to think that sonically they categorically take this sound further on “A Great Cold Distance.”

    Posted on December 21, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I can’t quite explain what it is that I like so much about this album, but it’s simply great. And not just a couple tracks, the album is full of interesting and catchy segments – taken as a whole it is fantastic. I catch myself humming parts of it all of the time, and was surprised to notice that it bumped Opeth’s “Watershed” out of my frequent play list rotation. Not that there’s really much basis comparison between the albums – Opeth is definitely heavier, whereas this reminds me a little of Porcupine Tree, but more cohesive, and again, catchier. If either of those band names mean anything to you, you might like this.

    Posted on December 21, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In my opinion this is Katatonia’s best album. I’m not much for the old death/doom style of their first two albums and the three albums previous to this featured a development of their style which came to its zenith in “Viva Emptiness.” Only their album “Night is the New Day” comes close (though does not reach) the quality of the songs here.
    Katatonia’s style is difficult to describe. I like to think of them as a very hard and dark Pink Floyd, though their is no denying that some of their songs (Like the single from this album “Ghost of the Sun”) show influences of death and doom metal.
    “Viva Emptiness” also has a more rock/alternative rock feel then many of their other albums, which comes out on tracks like “Evidence,” which in my opinion is one of the best tracks by the band from any album and “Complicity,” another great track as well. As well as having 5 real standout tracks (“Evidence, the darkly haunting “Criminals,” “Complicity”, the acoustic “Omerta” and “Ghost of the Sun,” “Viva Emptiness” features a number of good tracks as well, making it one o the best Katatonia albums from beginning to end.

    Posted on December 21, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I don’t think Katatonia’s previous albums are masterworks, but I think this one is. I believe Viva Emptiness consolidates the maturity of their style; a style that evolved after they switched the old vocals for clean ones. In the transition albums, the music was more predictable and the vocals were overly timid. This album shows that Katatonia has grown comfortable in their style, not overdoing the songs, keeping a perfect balance of eclecticism, elegance and aggression, and, finally, singing with conviction.

    This is a review that comes years after the release of the album. I believe The Great Cold Distance is equally good to Viva Emptiness if not better. I have not yet made up my mind on Night is the New Day.

    Posted on December 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Katatonia is probably THE most unique band in the underground metal scene, I wish these guys could get more recognition than they do. Their style is a mix between heavy and somber, slow and mid-paced, with mainly clean vocals and mainly distorted guitar, but they use the clean guitars a lot more often than their peers. There is some incredible songwriting on this release, lots of dual guitar work but not what you’d expect. They are as progressive as Tool or Dream Theater, heavy as Venom or “…Puppets” era Metallica, somber like Opeth or Pink Floyd, but also sometimes catchy like Black Sabbath, CKY, Black Label Society or Lacuna Coil. If you like ANY of the bands I mentioned, or bands like Perfect Circle, Rush, even Korn, Godsmack or Disturbed, you will definitely like Katatonia!!

    Posted on December 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now