Katatonia is a Swedish metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse (formerly known as Lord Seth) and Anders Nyström (formerly known as Blakkheim). The early Katatonia albums, along with albums by bands such as My Dying Bride, Anathema and Paradise Lost, are sometimes considered forerunners of the death/doom genre.
Dance of December Souls (1991–1995)
The early Katatonia releases, such as the EP Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival and their debut album Dance of December Souls, are noted for the overall bleak melancholy and despair of their sound, often giving them the classification of black/doom or death/doom. The band recorded For Funerals to Come in September 1994. Afterwards, Le Huche left the band. For Funerals to Come was released in 1995. The band took the whole year off due to their struggle to find a permanent lineup.
Brave Murder Day (1996–1997)
When Jonas Renkse formed October Tide in 1995 with Fredrik Norrman, he decided to revive Katatonia and had Fredrik Norrman join the band.
In 1996, Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt performed the growling vocals on Brave Murder Day when regular Katatonia singer (and then-drummer) Renkse became unable to perform harsh vocals properly.
Scarlet Heavens (with Primordial) was also released in 1996, but recorded in 1994 as what Renkse describes as something "we never intended to release" due to its soft sound in which Katatonia did, which was not their style. During one of Katatonia's tours, Renkse fell ill and was temporarily replaced by Kenneth Englund.
In 1997, the band enlisted help from Åkerfeldt once again for Sounds of Decay. Before the release of Sounds of Decay, the band decided to record Saw You Drown, which returned to the sound of Scarlet Heavens. Meanwhile the band recorded their third studio album.
Discouraged Ones (1998)
Discouraged Ones was released in 1998 and is the first Katatonia album to feature only clean vocals. It was also the last release on which Renkse played drums, as well as the last release with Mikael Oretoft on bass guitar. Katatonia hired Anders Nordin to take up drums for Jonas, but Nordin pulled out of the band at the last minute.
Tonight's Decision (1999–2000)
Since Renkse wanted to permanently focus strictly on vocals, Katatonia enlisted the help of Dan Swanö again to drum for the 1999 album Tonight's Decision. Tired of using session members, the band decided to have a permanent lineup, so Norrman recruited his brother, Mattias Norrman, as a bassist, and Daniel Liljekvist joined the band as the drummer. In 2000, the band recorded their fifth studio album.
Last Fair Deal Gone Down (2001–2002)
In 2001, the EP Teargas, the full-length album Last Fair Deal Gone Down, and the single "Tonight's Music" were released. In 2002, the band recorded their sixth studio album.
Viva Emptiness (2003–2005)
"Ghost of the Sun" and Viva Emptiness, a single and a full-length album respectively, were released in 2003.
In 2004, the band released Brave Yester Days (the title being a play on their album Brave Murder Day), which is a double-disc release including all cuts from EPs up to Saw You Drown, selected cuts from full-length albums Brave Murder Day and Dance of December Souls, and two tracks from a compilation.
In 2005, another compilation was released called The Black Sessions. It documented later releases and includes a live DVD. The band recorded their seventh studio album.
The Great Cold Distance (2006–2008)
In 2006, the band released The Great Cold Distance, along with the accompanying singles "My Twin", "Deliberation", and "July". Their appearance at the Summer Breeze festival was filmed, and the release called Live Consternation was released in 2007.
In the time between The Great Cold Distance and Night Is the New Day, the band went into a songwriting crisis for the first time in their career. The band had booked the studio at least twice and cancelled the bookings each time. Blakkheim said that the material they had written on both occasions was not satisfactory to the band and would have been a letdown for the fans of the band. On the band's forum, Blakkheim said that it was "writer's block and pressure involved".
Night Is the New Day (2009–2011)
Katatonia's Night Is the New Day, released in 2009, received widespread critical acclaim. In December 2009, the Norrmans left Katatonia. In late 2009, Per "Sodomizer" Eriksson and Niklas Sandin joined the band for the Night Is the New Day tour.
On March 15, 2010, Katatonia released the EP The Longest Year. "Sold Heart" is the only track on this EP to be previously unreleased. The videos for "The Longest Year" and "Day & Then the Shade" were directed by Charlie Granberg and Lasse Hoile, respectively.
The band reissued Night Is the New Day and Last Fair Deal Gone Down in 2011.
Katatonia played in Lebanon for the first time on September 3, 2011. The event took place at the Roman Amphitheatre in Zouk Mikael. Katatonia joined Opeth's North American Heritage tour, which ran from September 2011 until November 2011. Katatonia headlined Madrid Is the Dark III on December 10, 2011.
The mini album For Funerals to Come was reissued on record and CD through Peaceville Records. The vinyl version was released on November 7, 2011.
On December 14, 2011, Katatonia performed a special concert in Stockholm celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band. The concert featured appearances by former members of the band, along with other musicians such as Krister Linder.
On December 31, 2011, Katatonia announced that they would begin recording a new album in early 2012, with plans to release it before summer 2012. They are also working on a DVD titled Last Fair Day Gone Night.
Dead End Kings (2012–present)
On January 27, 2012, Katatonia announced they would head into the studio on January 30, 2012 to begin recording their ninth studio album. On May 28, 2012, the band announced that their ninth studio album would be called Dead End Kings and would be released on August 27, 2012 in Europe and August 28, 2012 in the US.
Katatonia toured with The Devin Townsend Project, Paradise Lost and Stolen Babies for the North American "Epic Kings & Idols Tour" in September 2012. Katatonia and The Devin Townsend Project began the tour alternating headlining each show; however, on September 13, it was decided that The Devin Townsend Project would headline the rest of the tour, starting with the September 14 show in Denver, with the only exception being the September 23 show in New York, at which Katatonia still headlined. The change was made at the request of the members of Katatonia.
Katatonia embarked on the "Dead Ends of Europe Tour" with Alcest and Junius in November 2012. The music video for "Lethean", from Dead End Kings, was released on February 18, 2013. It was directed by Lasse Hoile.
In September 2013 Katatonia released a new studio album entitled Dethroned & Uncrowned. This release featured re-workings of the songs from their previous album "Dead End Kings". Dethroned & Uncrowned was partly funded by Burning Shed, and by a fan-supported crowd-funding project featured on PledgeMusic. The crowd funding project managed to attract 190% of the target initially set out with a total of 1182 pledges.
In 2014, Eriksson and Katatonia "mutually agreed to part ways" due to "a difference in views" and Eriksson's decision to live in Barcelona. Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief will temporarily replace Eriksson live on vocals and guitar for the band's May tour. Tomas Åkvik of Nale will replace Soord on guitar in mid-2014. Longtime drummer Liljekvist left the band in April 2014 on friendly terms, citing personal and financial reasons.
- Jonas Renkse – vocals (1991–1994, 1996–present), drums, percussion (1991–1994, 1996–1998), guitars (2002–2005)
- Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström – guitars, backing vocals (1991–1994, 1996–present), bass (1992, 1996), keyboards (1997–2005)
- Niklas "Nille" Sandin – bass (2009–present)
- Guillaume Le Huche – bass (1993–1994)
- Kristian Poock – guitars (1993)
- Fredrik "North" Norrman – guitars (1994, 1996–2009), bass (1997, 1999)
- Mikael Oretoft – bass (1997–1998)
- Mattias "Kryptan" Norrman – bass (1999–2009)
- Daniel Liljekvist – drums, percussion (1999–2014)
- Per "Sodomizer" Eriksson – lead and rhythm guitars (2009–2014)
- Dan Swanö – keyboards, vocals (1992–1993), studio drums (1999)
- Mikael Åkerfeldt – live guitars (1993–1994), vocals (1996–1997)
- Kennet Englund – live drums (1996)
- Bruce Soord – live guitars, live vocals (2014)
- Tomas Åkvik – live guitars (2014)
- Daniel Moilanen – live drums (2014)
- Dance of December Souls (1993)
- Brave Murder Day (1996)
- Discouraged Ones (1998)
- Tonight's Decision (1999)
- Last Fair Deal Gone Down (2001)
- Viva Emptiness (2003)
- The Great Cold Distance (2006)
- Night Is the New Day (2009)
- Dead End Kings (2012)
- Dethroned & Uncrowned (2013)
- Live Consternation (including live DVD) (2007)
- Last Fair Day Gone Night (2013)
- Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival (1992)
- For Funerals to Come... (1995)
- Sounds of Decay (1997)
- Saw You Drown (1998)
- Teargas EP (2001)
- Tonight's Music (2001)
- July (2006)
- The Longest Year (2010)
- Buildings (2012)
- Kocytean (2014)
- Rehearsal '91 (1991)
- Rehearsal '92 (1992)
- Jhva Elohim Meth (1992)
- Ghost of the Sun (2003)
- My Twin (2006)
- Deliberation (2006)
- Day and Then the Shade (2009)
- Dead Letters (2012)
- Katatonia / Primordial split 10" (1996) Misanthropy Records (features "Scarlet Heavens")
- Katatonia / Hades split (1996) Mystic Production (features the "Jhva Elohim Meth" demo)
- Brave Yester Days (2004)
- The Black Sessions (2005)
- on Myspace