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What's the general consensus on Discouraged Ones here?

Discussion in 'Katatonia' started by batmura, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. batmura

    batmura Sea of Tranquility

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    I was just going through my Katatonia CDs one by one. I played the earlier stuff through Discouraged Ones yesterday. Then, today, I played everything through Night is the New Day. Normally, Discouraged Ones would be the album that marked the stylistic change in Katatonia's musical direction, rightly so. Granted, the album falls short off the mark in more than one spot, but, to some, it is its imperfections that elevate it to higher level.

    Anyway, I was wondering how everyone on this board assesses the album from both a historical and musical standpoint. I've heard people call Discouraged Ones the "darkest" and "most depressing" Katatonia album. They would cite Jonas' imperfect vocalizations and the steady 4/4 drumming as crucial elements contributing to its overall character.

    As an old-timer fan who followed the band from way back, I remember picking up Discouraged Ones, and unlike a great many of my friends, being able to relate to it, despite my being very heavily into the doom-death sounds of the time. I immediately accepted the album for what it was, but never really considered a masterpiece of any stretch of the word.

    For me, the album was a stepping stone for Jonas and Anders to actually go out there and make a statement. It would even take another full album to actually establish their identity and cement their musical signature. I could make similar arguments for Tonight's Decision, which in itself is a solid piece of work, but fails to rank as high as either the earliest stuff or their post-Last Fair Deal Gone period.

    Anyways, I'd like to see what everyone else thinks of Discouraged Ones. Also, feel free to chime in with your observations as to what your other Kata friends may be saying about it. This disc could be the most controversial album in their catalog. I've heard people call it a masterpiece of the genre and also their most unrealized body of work.

    What do you think of it? How does it hold up against either Tonight's Decision or the stuff that came prior? Is it a record that helped solidify the sounds they would later explore on Viva Emptiness or was it a one-off experiment?

    Any thoughts?

    NP: Warning - Watching from a Distance
     
  2. insidethefall

    insidethefall somewhere nowhere

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    Dicouraged Ones was a landmark, it brought Katatonia "down to earth" and broke the doom/death mold of their previous sound. However, it brought forth their influences, namely the cure, fields of the nephilim and slowdive (I think in the photo, jonas is even wearing a slowdive shirt) and fused it with their sound on Brave Murder Day. Their goal was to make a depressing album, and that they did. Highly atmospheric and structurally simple, hauntingly esoteric lyrics (which you can actually hear now that Jonas sings clean) purposely morose vocals, a great audible bass sound, reverbed drums, the amazing "sunlight studio" distortion on the guitar. Emotionally heavy and reflective, memorable and catchy songs. It's not the album for everyone, but to anyone who enjoys dark music that's not contrived; A thousand so called "depressive black metal" bands cannot even compare with "saw you drown" or "gone"

    It rivals Brave Murder Day as my favorite Katatonia, I just wished some of this brilliance had bled over to Tonight's Decision (which I consider their worst album by far)
     
  3. nimicitor

    nimicitor Idle Blood

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    One of, if not the worst Katatonia album.
    I look at it as a demo, everything after it is superior.
     
  4. Lisra

    Lisra starlight spectre

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    <3 is my consensus on the album.
     
  5. BlueSky

    BlueSky New Metal Member

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    A step in the right direction from it's predecessors, albeit still extremely rough around the edges.
     
  6. Lyre's Harmony

    Lyre's Harmony Lunatic Soul

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    My thoughts exactly except I think DO is slightly better than BMD. SLIGHTLY.
     
  7. i aint play this

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    It destroys and fucks me in the ass with a sword. That's the general consensus about it here.
     
  8. LifeDepraved

    LifeDepraved My soul got a crack

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    It makes my speakers cry.
     
  9. insidethefall

    insidethefall somewhere nowhere

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    You might be right; when I listen to DO, I think it's better than BMD and when I listen to BMD I believe it's superior to DO...I guess it depends if I'm in the mood for doom/death or more a more atmospheric sound.
     
  10. stefan86

    stefan86 invariably off-topic

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    <3
     
  11. griev0r

    griev0r Here is Nowhere

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    This. :)
     
  12. season1234

    season1234 Member

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    I fucking love it. For me it was the album that made me love Katatonia, although I was already pretty hooked after hearing DODS, For Funerals To Come, and BMD. THe album has very autumnal feeling to me, I find it quite beautiful, flowing, and melancholic. From the vocal melodies, to the leads, to the riffs and hypnotic drumming, there are very few flaws with the LP. Love the production, think it suited the songs extremely well for 1998, and was very into the melding of the BMD sound with a very clear Cure influence.
     
  13. Nightmare_Heaven

    Nightmare_Heaven Death Disco

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    My consensus is that it's fucking rinsin. I was totally obsessed with this album for a long time. The simplicity of the music works perfectly to express the numb, cold apathy I used to lose myself in all the time listening to it. Some totally paralysing moments on there for sure...very specific feel also, like warm sunlight falling through branches of trees in autumn. And let me say now Jonas' vocal performance on this record is quite frankly IMO his very best clean vocals. I still really love this album although I think maybe I've overplayed it and find some bits slightly difficult to listen to now, maybe i'll fall in love with it again sometime.
     
  14. KittyKatatonia

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    Great album, and a perfect companion album to Brave Murder Day. So much of the the songwriting is very similar, but the songs are less dark and feature clean vocals this time around. My one complaint is unfortunately Jonas' vocal performance on the album doesn't hold up as well as I would have hoped. It's not bad and it was great for it's time, but he's grown so much over the years as a vocalist that I feel this album could really benefit from him re-doing his vocals. Especially after you hear some of these songs performed live lately. Jonas sings them much better now.
     
  15. Nightmare_Heaven

    Nightmare_Heaven Death Disco

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    Can't agree. I just love the broken, faltering approach of his vocals on this, distant and apathetic like he'd rather not be there. newer cleanly produced "better" vox would potentially kill the album for me... but whatever, its a matter of preference
     
  16. LifeDepraved

    LifeDepraved My soul got a crack

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    Agreed fully with this post.
     

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