Guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH has issued the following update:
"KATATONIA's [forthcoming album] 'Night Is The New Day' is possibly the greatest 'heavy' record I've heard in the last 10 years.
"Most people know my history with them and also my friendship with the guys. Jonas [P. Renkse, KATATONIA vocalist] and I have been best buddies for the last 18 years or so.
"Every time OPETH or KATATONIA has a new record [coming out], we arrange a small private listening party. Usually with myself, Anders [Nyström, KATATONIA guitarist] and Jonas. For years we've managed to record albums around the same time and had both the new OPETH album and the new KATATONIA album played back on the same session. It's always great fun, however disciplined.
"You can't talk during playback (death penalty), you listen to the album all the way through twice, and then we have the 'comments.' Everything is washed down with beer or wine...there might be snacks on the table.
"Well, two days after the new KATATONIA album is mastered, here we are, holed up in a friend's apartment ready to go through the new masterpiece by KATATONIA. And it truly is a masterpiece! I have not been this taken back by an album for a long time. I almost had tears in my eyes. It's an absolutely stunning piece of music! Easily their most progressive and emotional record, as far as I'm concerned.
"The finale is almost too much to bear. Here we have some guest vocals by ENTER THE HUNT kingpin Krister Linder (Chris Lancelot to some) and it's quite fucking moving, to say the least.
"I've always been a fan of KATATONIA. Ever since I heard their first demo back in 1991 or 1992, and I thought they sounded like OPETH, haha! This record, however, is their crown jewel so far. It's an album that is 'more' than the music that's on there.
"How often do I plug something that's not from 1971? It gives you an indication where I stand on the matter maybe?"
Subscribers to the Peaceville Records mailing list are being given the first opportunity to download a free song from KATATONIA's eighth studio album, "Night Is The New Day". Entitled "Forsaker", the track is now available for streaming in the YouTube clip below.
"Night Is The New Day" is scheduled for release in Europe on November 2 (November 10 in North America) via Peaceville Records.
"Night is the New Day" track listing:
02. The Longest Year
03. Idle Blood
04. Onward Into Battle
06. The Promise Of Deceit
08. New Night
10. Day & Then The Shade
11. Ashen (*Swedish edition CD and vinyl edition bonus track)
The mini-site for "Night is the New Day" can be accessed at this location It includes audio samples, downloads, album information, interviews, art gallery plus exclusive previously unseen studio diaries from the recording session.
Regarding his vocal performance on the CD, frontman Jonas P. Renkse recently said, "Even though I had done much of the vocal parts/ideas already on the demos, I couldn't imagine the extent of what was about to come. Starting out, I was feeling better than I thought, since I had problems with my throat earlier during the recording. It wasn't a cold as I first expected; I have no idea what it was/is, but it has affected me in some ways.
"More tracks nailed and listening back, I realize that I've never sung this MUCH on an album before. Not that I'm singing ALL THE TIME (don't worry), but the vocals are much more demanding. I hope it is because the singing is better, and not because my throat is worse."
The artwork for "Night Is The New Day" (see below) was once again designed by Travis Smith and closes the visual concept for "The Great Cold Distance" phase.
The new material was previously described by the band as "our most varied, diverse and possibly strongest shit all together on one and the same album."
"The Great Cold Distance" was released in 2006 via Peaceville. The follow-up to 2003's "Viva Emptiness" was recorded at Fascination Street studios in the outskirts of Örebro, Sweden and was mastered at the Cutting Room in Stockholm.
KATATONIA's live performance from 2006's Summer Breeze open-air festival in Germany was released as a double-disc live album/DVD, entitled "Live Consternation".