Katatonia: Dead End Kings

The Swedish dark rockers get more progressive.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Far removed now from their beginnings as a doomy band, Katatonia have become increasingly more involved with progressive sounds over the last decade. So it should be little surprise that Dead End Kings owes a lot to Porcupine Tree and Opeth.

The way in which they create a stealthy ambient atmosphere is obviously rooted in the visions of Steven Wilson. But Katatonia avoid rehashing his old ideas, and take the moody foundations and develop these with simple orchestrations and expansive guitar and keyboard sounds.

The result is an album that works on two fronts. It allows you to dip in and enjoy individual tracks like Hypnone and Lethean, yet each song is so connected, there’s an even greater pleasure to be had from playing the whole album, especially if you’re listening on headphones.

Katatonia have often paled when put alongside the likes of Anathema. This is the album to change all that.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021