Whenever a band chooses to write and record exclusively at night time one should be curious to know why. I can’t really pinpoint why this album keeps finding its way into my stereo, this is one album I can relate and feel very close to, the punishing heaviness and overall deadness orchestrated here is rare to find on any other record that is similar in style.
A turning point in KATATONIA’s history is the ever nightly sessions of “Tonight’s Decision”; after signing with Peaceville Records the Swedes felt a surge of energy going through them and produced their best album to date (IMO), I will go as far as calling it their version of “Draconian Times”. The recipe stayed the same keeping the songs direct and simple, the challenge was how to take this gloomy sound to the next level. The predictable move of adding tiny elements of electronics came as nothing but a small surprise, but pushing those heavy guitars right up front where they belong with a fat Metal sound and doing a surprisingly good cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Nightmares By The Sea” really blew me away.
While ”Discouraged Ones” was a very bleak affair, (still no ”Brave Murder Day”) ”Tonight’s Decision” is more hard hitting and in your face but also very melancholic. Dan Swanö was added as a session musician on the drums so Jonas could fully concentrate on his vocals and I must say he sounds more dynamic on this record compared to ”Discouraged Ones”.
”For My Demons” sets the mood in perfect and classic KATATONIA style with those beautiful lead melodies and heavy riffs. On this album KATATONIA have come up with some really strong and more focused songs, like the album’s two masterpieces ”Strained” and closing track ”Black Session”, but also trying something new with ”This Punishment”.
The lead melodies really shine through on this album, the chorus melody in ”Right Into The Bliss” is so beautiful you can almost shed a tear, it’s true and the melodies in ”I Am Nothing” are also nothing short of brilliant and could only be created by this band.
Without a doubt in my mind this is the band’s finest hour, it’s scary the way everything sounds so controlled. This is a beautiful album, (nothing new there) this is always the case when we’re talking about KATATONIA, I know if I’m stressed or something I throw myself into a relaxed position and just look up while the album is playing, this is one of those albums that really communicates and gets to me. (Online February 22, 2004)