Katatonia Live Consternation

Katatonia’s first live album comes in dual (audio and visual) form, presenting the band’s performance at last year’s Summer Breeze Festival in Germany. Musically, the concert has a raw honesty. Instead of wasting time on overdubs or trying to reproduce album perfection, the gig captures what Katatonia really sound like on stage — rougher round the edges but also a little more raunchy and alive. The same aesthetic carries over into the DVD, its video stock and amateurish editing effects giving the concert footage an earnest, "fan-made” vibe. The set list should be familiar to anyone who saw the band last year, featuring several songs off the two latest records, with nods to earlier albums Tonight’s Decision and Discouraged Ones, but with significant gaps. The whole package has a candid quality, as if to say, "here, this is what an average Katatonia show is like.” Rather than offering something special, Live Consternation seems like a placeholder, a gift to fans who haven’t yet seen the band live and a teaser to those waiting to hear what will come next. (Peaceville)