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“We can’t believe this,” Katatonia frontman Jonas Renkse announced between songs at their sold-out NYC show this past Friday, the third stop of their MetalSucks-sponsored U.S. tour with Swallow the Sun and Orphaned Land. “Flying all the way across the ocean to play for a sold out crowd in New York City… this is our childhood dream come true.”

Nearly twenty years into their career, these Swedes’ newfound success was the theme of the night. Of their 1.5 hour set no less than seven songs came from their latest album Night is the New Day. And this was no decision fueled by ego and stubborness; Katatonia knew exactly what they were doing, proven by the instant cheers that erupted from the audience whenever the opening notes of a new song rang out. The reaction to the new material was positively stunning; this is Katatonia, not Cannibal Corpse, so moshing wasn’t quite par for the course, but a whole lot of concerted headbanging most certainly was.

To the audience’s credit, they welcomed Night is the New Day with good reason; it’s a solid album! For some reason the song “Liberation” really struck me in the live setting, in the kind of way that had me singing along by the second chorus and Googling the lyrics as soon as I got home to find out what song it was. Enjoy it above.

Anyone who reads this site knows that we absolutely adore Swallow the Sun and can’t pass up an opportunity to see them live (which by the grace of Odin and whoever pays their U.S. tour support seems to happen quite frequently). StS did not disappoint with their monolithically epic set of melo-doom. The mix was a little rough on their opening cut, and though it leveled out considerably throughout the set it never quite got where it needed to be. Still, this band and their wall-of-hair headbanging never, ever, ever disappoint. As MetalSucks commenter Stabitha (who, you should know, is female) remarked to me during their set, “I have such a giant boner for these guys right  now.” Touche. Giant boner. Especially for keyboardist Aleksi “Evil James Hetfield” Munter who undoubtedly has the best metal face in the entire world. Unfortunately they were cut short before vocalist Mikko Kotamäki could utter the words we were all waiting to hear: “This is our last song. It’s called ‘Hope’.”

Orphaned Land, on the other hand, suffered from an incredibly poor mix that made it hard for me to tell if they were any good or not, having never seen them before. I know this band has plenty of fans so I’m certainly willing to give them another shot, but I was definitely not into their set… at all.

Chances are the New Night Over North America tour has yet to come to your town, so take a look at dates here and make sure you go when it rolls through. Also check out Metal Insider’s interview with guitarist Anders Nystrom.

And lastly, don’t forget that we’re giving away a signed Katatonia guitar!


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