When it comes to veteran metal bands, Katatonia are undoubtedly one of the most successful in terms of continuously giving their fans quality music. Katatonia have remained undiminished by a lack of inspiration, continuing a two-decade string of familiar, yet sophisticated albums, consisting of enough style and unique little moments to establish their sound as notably Katatonia.

The progression showcased by Katatonia's ninth studio album, 'Dead End Kings,' could be compared to the career of fellow Swedish metal masters Opeth. Although 'Dead End Kings' is undeniably heavy in some areas, the band has followed a more progressive path as of late, focusing thoroughly on both sonic beauty and the art of songwriting.

Hardcore Katatonia fans will connect with 'Dead End Kings' immediately, whereas those who aren't too familiar with the band's work may need to give it multiple spins before fully embracing the disc. Either way, 'Dead End Kings' is an album that plants a seed deep within the listener. The album isn't at all defined by obvious standout tracks, and therefore provides a much more intensive listening experience as a singular piece, best listened to in a completely undisturbed environment to enhance its introverted nature.

Katatonia showcase a rare combination of elegant craftsmanship and harmonic beauty with 'Dead End Kings,' delivering a union that is sorely needed in modern heavy music. We definitely recommend that you allow 'Dead End Kings' to consume and envelop you once the album finally drops.

Katatonia's 'Dead End Kings' is set for release on Tuesday, Aug. 28. To pre-order the album, click here.

4 Stars
Katatonia, 'Dead Letters'