|Last Fair Deal Gone Down|
|Studio album by|
|Released||8 May 2001|
|Recorded||April – November 2000|
Last Fair Deal Gone Down is the fifth studio album by Swedish band Katatonia, released in 2001 by Peaceville Records. The release was the first of a series of four albums done by the band with a stable line up of Jonas Renkse, Anders Nyström, Fredrik Norrman, Mattias Norrman, and Daniel Liljekvist, after years of lineup and role changes with prior albums.
After forming in the early 1990s, the band started off by released two albums of death/doom metal music with screamed vocals, Dance of December Souls and Brave Murder Day . Strains and health issues with Jonas Renkse's vocal cords, coupled with a desire to branch out musically and creatively, lead the band to abandon the genre and pursue more melodic metal music with clean vocals, releasing two more albums, Discouraged Ones and Tonight's Decision . The band, happy with the progress, sought out to create a more diverse and intricate work. With prior sessions being plagued by lineup changes, the band first sought to solidify their lineup. The band hired Daniel Liljekvist, as a new drummer, a role previously filled by Renkse and session musician Dan Swanö.This allowed Renkse to focus fully on vocals and lyrics. Additionally, bass guitar, which has been covered by guitarist Frederick Norrman in the prior album, and a number of other musicians prior, was now filled by Frederick's brother, Mattias Norrman, allowing Fredrik to focus entirely only being the second guitarist. This setup allowed the band to solidify the lineup for the album's recording, and subsequent three albums.
Writing for the album started shortly after the release of their prior album, Tonight's Decision, in 1999. Similar to their other albums, most writing was done by band founders Renkse and Anders Nyström; Renkse would write lyrics while Nyström would write the music. Concentrated writing sessions lasted between six and seven months, though many rough song ideas had been written by Renkse intermittently over the years. The band was prone to bouts of writer's block, so Renkse would make a habit of constantly writing down and compiling rough ideas for songs to be revisited and for them to flesh out during dedicated writing sessions.
Recording took place intermittently between April and December 2000 at Sunlight Studios. Financial issues forced the band into recording it in spurts, throughout this time. The sessions were stressful, with band members frustrated that their financial limitations often lead to forced breaks when they desired to continue working on the album. Additionally, the increased downtime led to worrying and dwelling over little details of what they had accomplished in their time in the studio. The reflecting lead to many parts being edited, redone, or omitted from the final version of the album, Renkse felt was stressful at the time, but ultimately lead to an album that more accurately reflected their desired sound.
The album found the band moving farther away from their metal roots. Renkse stated that the music was still rooted in metal in a vague sense, but that the band had moved away from the sound in favor of something that "their parents would listen to", with more of a mature sound. Feeling that prior albums, especially Discouraged Ones had too many songs that sounded too similar to one another, Renkse stated that the band aimed to have each song have a stronger individuality as its "own chapter or sound". American progressive metal band Tool and its album Aenima was a strong influence on the album.William York of AllMusic described the album's sound as "depressing, heavy alternative rock with a notable Cure influence" but that "Katatonia is not really playing metal anymore here". The album features entirely clean vocals of Renkse, frequently overdubbed, along with thick distorted guitar parts and hard-hitting drum sound. The track "We Must Bury You" contains electronic elements replacing the drum parts. This was initially done because Liljekvist was living out of the city at the time, and had already left when Nystrom had finished writing it. Due to the limited time in the studio, and generally short length of the track, a drum machine was used to replicate the sound, something the band felt helped contribute to the album's diversity without completely changing the band's sound.
Lyrically, Renkse described them as "intensely personal" and about his own problems in life. He tried to combine the lyrics and vocals to give a sense of desperation he felt over his troubles. Overtime, he felt the personal lyrics may become overwhelming for both himself and the listener, and decided to write a few songs based around fiction instead. "We Must Bury You" was about a newspaper article he had read about people committing an accidental murder, and the fear and regret he imagined they felt in taking care of the body. "Sweet Nurse" was another entirely fictional account.
Three months prior to release, the band released an EP Teargas essentially as a vehicle for the single "Teargas". It was not something forced to do by their record label, but rather, a means to release more music than just a single during the rather substantial lead-up time to the album's release. In addition to containing "Teargas", it contained two other b-sides recorded in the Last Fair Deal Gone Down sessions - "Sulfur" and "March 4".The album was released on May 8, 2001. The album was re-released multiple times as well, including in 2004, on vinyl in 2007, and as a "tenth anniversary" release again in 2011. Shortly after the album's initial release, the band embarked on a European tour starting in June 2001, including the band's first performance in Finland.
|Chronicles of Chaos||(9/10)|
The album received critical acclaim from reviewers.William York of AllMusic praised the album's increased production values from the band's prior releases, stating that it worked well for "accentuating the quiet verse/loud chorus dynamics...making the loud parts hit harder and the softer parts come through with more detail" and concluded that it was"...an excellent album on the whole: heavy, tuneful, and thick with atmosphere and melancholy." Pedro Azevedo of Chronicles of Chaos also praised the album production and sound, stating that it was "...even catchier than Discouraged Ones while every bit as emotional and musically more intense and dynamic than that first record of their clean vocal era, [the album] is an outstanding return to top form for Katatonia. Renkse's vocals are better than ever and truly remarkable...and is one thoroughly listenable, enjoyable and affectingly emotional record.
All lyrics by Jonas Renkse.
|2.||"Chrome"||Nyström, Fredrik Norrman||5:11|
|3.||"We Must Bury You"||Nyström||2:48|
|5.||"I Transpire"||Nyström, Norrman||5:54|
|6.||"Tonight's Music"||Nyström, Renkse||4:17|
|8.||"The Future of Speech"||Nyström, Norrman||5:38|
|9.||"Passing Bird"||Nyström, Renkse||3:35|
|11.||"Don't Tell a Soul"||Nyström, Norrman||5:42|
|14.||"Help Me Disappear"||5:13|
|14.||"Help Me Disappear"||5:13|
|15.||"O How I Enjoy the Light" ( Palace cover)||2:44|
Katatonia are a Swedish metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström. The band started as a studio-only project for the duo, as an outlet for the band's love of death metal. Increasing popularity led them to add more band members for live performances, though outside of the band's founders, the lineup was a constantly changing, revolving door of musicians throughout the 1990s, notably including Mikael Åkerfeldt of the band Opeth for a period. After two death/doom albums, Dance of December Souls (1993) and Brave Murder Day (1996), problems with Renkse's vocal cords coupled with new musical influences led the band away from the screamed vocals of death metal to a more traditional, melodic form of heavy metal music.
Brave Murder Day is Katatonia's second full-length album, released in 1996 by Avantgarde Music.
Discouraged Ones is the third full-length album by Katatonia. The album was released on April 27, 1998. This is the only Katatonia album with bassist Micke Oretoft. It is also their last release with Jonas Renkse on drums; on future releases, he would focus on being the band's lead vocalist and contributing additional guitar work. According to Renkse, Discouraged Ones had sold roughly 20,000 copies as of 2001.
Anders Nyström, also known as Blakkheim, is a Swedish musician.
Dance of December Souls is the first full-length album by Katatonia.
Viva Emptiness is the sixth full-length album by Katatonia, released in 2003 by Peaceville Records. On the album's tenth anniversary in 2013, it was re-released, featuring a new mix, mastering, and additional keyboard arrangements.
Sounds of Decay is a three-song EP released by Katatonia in 1997. The front cover is a screenshot of a decrepit god, taken from the movie Begotten.
The Great Cold Distance is the seventh full-length album by Swedish metal band Katatonia, released on 13 March 2006. The album was recorded and mixed at Fascination Street Studios, Örebro between May and August 2005.
Tonight's Music is a song by Swedish band Katatonia, released in 2001 as the only single from their fifth studio album Last Fair Deal Gone Down.
"My Twin" is a single by Swedish metal band Katatonia in 2006. It was the first single off the band's seventh studio album The Great Cold Distance. The single's music video was directed by Charlie Granberg. The single charted at no. 9 on the Finnish music charts.
The Black Sessions is the second greatest hits compilation album by Swedish metal band Katatonia, released on February 21, 2005 through Peaceville. The compilation includes hit songs, B-sides and rarities recorded on the band's previous studio albums. A live DVD for the band performing in Krakow, Poland in April 2003 is also included in the compilation.
Brave Yester Days is a 2-disc best-of album by Katatonia. It contains the material from Katatonia's older era, mainly consisting of death/doom material, and a few alternative rock songs.
Live Consternation is a live album and video by Swedish heavy metal band Katatonia, released in both CD and DVD format through Peaceville Records, on 28 May 2007. The double album features a live performance recorded at Germany's Summer Breeze Open Air festival, on 17 August 2006. The artwork was designed by Travis Smith and is close to the visual concept for The Great Cold Distance.
October Tide is a Swedish death/doom metal side project that was created in 1994 by Katatonia vocalist Jonas Renkse and then-Katatonia guitarist Fred Norrman.
Night Is the New Day is Katatonia's eighth full-length album. It was released 2 November 2009, in Europe and 10 November 2009, in North America through Peaceville Records. Thirteen tracks were recorded, eleven of which made it onto the record. The band describes the material as "Our most varied, diverse and possibly strongest shit all together on one and the same album". "Idle Blood" had the working title "Kozelek", named after Mark Kozelek, a member of Red House Painters, which is one Katatonia's influences. This is the last Katatonia release with the Norrman brothers.
Teargas EP is a three song EP by Katatonia. It was released by Peaceville Records and Snapper Music on 20 February 2001. This is the first release to feature new members Mattias Norrman and Daniel Liljekvist, which solidified the band's lineup as a quintet for the following decade, until after their November 2009 release Night Is the New Day. This EP is featured on their compilation album release The Black Sessions.
Dead End Kings is Katatonia's ninth full-length album. It was released on 27 August 2012 in Europe and 28 August in the U.S. through Peaceville Records. Like all Katatonia releases, the album was written primarily by founding members Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström. The band went through a number of lineup changes, making the album the first to feature bassist Niklas Sandin, the only album to feature second guitarist Per Eriksson, and the last to feature drummer Daniel Liljekvist.
The Fall of Hearts is the tenth studio album by Swedish rock band Katatonia. It was released on 20 May 2016. The album, mostly written and produced by founding members Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström, was the first to also feature new members Daniel Moilanen and Roger Öjersson. The album moved in a more progressive rock direction than prior albums, and was generally well received by critics. Two singles were released in promotion of the album, "Old Heart Falls", and "Serein".
Kocytean is an EP by Swedish metal band Katatonia. The album was released on April 19, 2014, as part of the 2014 iteration of Record Store Day. The release consists of a collection of six B-side songs from their prior three albums at the time - The Great Cold Distance (2006), Night is the New Day (2009), and Dead End Kings (2012). While given a limited release, it was still generally praised by critics.
"Serein" is a song by Swedish band Katatonia. It is the second single off of their tenth studio album The Fall of Hearts. The song title alludes to the concept of raining without clouds being visible.