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Katatonia at Sound Control, Manchester - live review

Katatonia and Ghost Bath bring rich atmospheres to Manchester

Katatonia live on stage with coloured lighting
(Image: © Mike Gray)

The problem with this type of atmospheric heaviness in general is that live, the guitars are so distorted that they get largely swallowed by the drums, leaving just drums, vocals and maybe a clean, atmospheric guitar audible in the mix. Such is Ghost Bath’s fate tonight, and unfortunately it means their tunes simply don’t come across as being particularly powerful.

Naturally, last year’s The Fall Of Hearts is at the centre of proceedings, though there are also an equal number of tracks from 2006’s brilliant The Great Cold Distance. The highlight of the set comes early though, in the form of Criminals from Viva Emptiness. The subtle, menacing guitars from the studio version become a creeping, visceral scream and make the dramatic transition to the chorus all the more powerful.

To their credit, the fans aren’t just interested in the back catalogue, and the new songs go down well too, chief among these the soaring, Porcupine Tree-like Serein from the band’s most recent album. Single Old Heart Falls is similarly strong, as is Passer, which ends the main set.