Visions ov Hell: Katatonia – “Serein”


Jonas Renske is an absolute master lyricist. As such, it should come as no surprise that the lyric videos stemming from Katatonia‘s music is equally as impressive. And with their latest tease from The Fall of Hearts, set to drop at the end of this week, “Serein” only furthers that stance. The gothic death metallers out of Stockholm have created another masterpiece with this song and imagery, continuing to increase the level of creativity behind what is a “lyric video”. And the music is even better than that.So let’s start there. “Serein” is the second track to be released in lyric video form off the upcoming album. It holds much of the same melody and dark beauty that has defined their recent work, but with a more poppy pace and feel. It simply becomes something you can’t turn away from while it’s playing and you can’t get it out of your head once it concludes. Especially that entrancing vocal play on the solo (“Liberating rain/Two shots and I need more/Adapt to the flow/A taste of the void/Get back and focus again/More of the fire”) that just resonates. All in all, “Serein” is just another example of how Katatonia have perfected the fusion of all the various styles they have used to define their music. If this is any indication of the overall direction taken on The Fall of Hearts… well, we have much to look forward to.

So about the video? As I mentioned, this is the second lyric video taken from this upcoming album, with the first being “Old Hearts Fall”. While the first depicts the lyrics processed onto paper by means of a typewriter, creating a very creative visual element that dives into the inner mechanics of said machine, “Serein” uses a similar concept but a different medium. This time, the words are scrawled on paper by pen (with very good handwriting I must add). But there is more of a story and character development behind the words this time. Shot entirely in black and white, as before, we are introduced to a young man alone in his own personal work space. In between the writing of lyrics, he is seen photographing something nearby. We are unsure what, as the camera is directed towards our position. Yet as the video plays on, the Polaroid develops further and further. And just before the image is burned by the candles it is resting against, we see an image of man crouched against a stone wall, head bowed. It becomes very personal and depressing. Lyrically, musically, and visually, “Serein” follows the same gloomy melodicism that has defined Katatonia’s music over the past decade. And I absolutely can’t get enough of it. Furthermore, Katatonia has taken the rather simple concept of a ‘lyric video’ and created something far more complex. …Is it Friday yet?

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– Corey

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