Released: 2006, Peaceville Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
MY TWIN is a pre-album single release to get fans’ appetites whetted for the full-length. THE GREAT COLD DISTANCE hit stores April 4th but if MY TWIN is any indication of the rest of the songs on the full-length, this will be a monumental release from the band. “My Twin” is delivered in two versions here, as well as two exclusive bonus tracks that will not appear on the album. These aren’t crappy live versions or throwaway tracks, either. Both are incredibly strong and must have been very difficult for the band not to include. Since I have never been a fan of singles (read: cash grab), I rarely am able to recommend them but MY TWIN is worth checking out and an absolute must-have for any Katatonia fan as this is yet another in a long line of noteworthy collectible releases from the band.
“My Twin” exists in two versions here: a “Single Edit Version” and an “Opium Dub.” The single edit could easily be a modern rock hit. The haunting riff coupled with Jonas Renske’s powerfully subdued, pensive vocal is pure magic. The chorus is one of the best the band has ever written and the song is so catchy, you’ll find yourself singing the chorus in your head for days afterwards. The “Opium Dub” is a remix with stripped down instrumentation and some programmed effects that replace the guitars and bass and add a drum loop. Make no mistake—this is no dance-club Dust Brothers-like remix. If anything, it seems to slow the song down even further but it is an interesting take nonetheless. “Displaced” is a bleak twist on the band’s sound with Renske’s vocals distorted in the chorus and a driving rhythm section from Mattias Norrman and Daniel Lijekvist. “Dissolving Bonds” is a real gem. The chorus’ velvety-smooth vocal melodies are almost Pink Floyd-ian, while Lijekvist’s drums border on tribal. A sweeping soundscape is created so effectively that with shut eyes and a pair of good headphones, you can almost feel yourself being carried away with the music. Brilliant.
In essence, Katatonia has morphed into one of the most non-metal metal bands today, carrying a certain atmospheric heaviness to its ethereal passages and darkly accessible music. MY TWIN is truly one of the band’s grandest moments. The black CD embodies the band’s sound and comes housed in a spiffy digipack with fabulous art by Travis Smith. With THE GREAT COLD DISTANCE just around the corner, I am expecting great things and MY TWIN makes me think I am in for a real treat.
KILLER KUTS: All