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HiRez Poll Katatonia - Great Cold Distance (DVD-A)

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the DVD-A of Katatonia - GREAT COLD DISTANCE

  • 10: Great fidelity, Great Surround Mix, Great Content

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Poor fidelity, poor surround, poor content

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    19

Bob Romano

Administrator
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Apr 26, 2002
Messages
4,653
Location
Viva Las Vegas
This disc is TRUE DVD-A!! Great fidelity with a decent 5.1 mix. The mix has sounds that move from front to rear (such as echoes) and the much of the instrumentation is in the front with extension into the rear to create a full surround experience. Great tight bottom end and really clean sounding all around.

The music is a mix of Porcupine Tree with Opeth and Dream Theater mixed in for good measure. Most of the songs are in the 4 minute range.

I really like this disc a lot. It is probably considered "Doom Metal" but it does not have any of the growly vocals of Opeth. Those are more like Porcupine Tree. The time changes are much like Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree.

I will give this disc a 9 over all. There are no extras but it does also have DTS and DD.
 

Coren

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
40
Location
Belgium
This one's been out for a while, I'm surprised to find a poll for it now. :)

Anyway, I've owned this disc for quite some time. Yes, the sound is clean and powerful. But no, the surround mix is nothing special. Only in a few select places could I detect a difference between the surround mix and simply upmixed stereo. This appears to be a matter of personal preference but I still believe that when you make a surround mix, you should actually take advantage of the possibilities that are offered to you and actually use those rear channels to add an extra dimension to the music. That doesn't happen here. A few echo effects here, a little growl there, but that's pretty much it.

I admit that this mix is much, much better than the surround mix of Opeth's Ghost Reveries, which was done by the same person IIRC.

Still, I can't give the mix more than a 5. The SQ is good, but I'm very disappointed in the 5.1 mix. Especially considering the potential of an album like this one.

As for the music, this was my album of the year when it came out. Amazing stuff. The sense of angry depression it radiates is effective yet subtle, the music is melodic yet complex, catchy yet layered, etc. Musically, this album deserves a solid 9.

So overall I've given it a 7. Definitely pick this DVD-A up if you can find it at a reasonable price. If not, buy the regular CD as this album deserves to be heard.
 

Ge Someone

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
1,105
Location
Netherlands
Yes, it was out since a year or so, but a lot of us missed it.
It was brought under attention again.

Anyway, a good disc with quite heavy music. The melodies are often a bit similar but at least the singing is more pleasant than on their previous albums. I don't think the content is that spectacular, but I give it an 8 in total.
 

e:leaf

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
61
Music:
This album is truly fantastic. Though many people throw Dream Theater as a parameter for comparison, I couldn't disagree more. It is fairly hard, but without the overwrought technical fireworks that DT displays phrase after phrase (which also makes it exhausting to listen to). Katatonia is lush, their instrumentation very tactfully orchestrated, and sensible (think PT in that regard). The music certainly isn't simple, but nothing in particular screams "look at my chops, and disregard the lack of song writing skills." These guys flat-out know how to write well composed music, and they know how to play it very well. I would certainly call them a healthy mix between Porcupine Tree's hardest music, and Opeth's middle ground material (Katatonia is a metal band, but they don't approach the speed metal or growling that Opeth engages in). The music and lyrics are dark, but not "I want to slit my wrist now that I've heard this album" depressing. It's good modern metal with a progressive twist.

Highlights on the album are:
Soil's Song
Consternation
July

All of the songs are very good, but the above are great.

Mix:
Much left to be desired. Though the mix isn't bad by any means, Bergen could have done much more. The rears generally serve to "fill out" the sound in the space, which works well in metal, but with the already very high level of production, he could have taken the extra step and been more aggressive with using the rear channels to better effect since he was already taking the time to make it 5.1. If the rears aren't in some way reinforcing what's happening in the front channels (the vast majority of the time this is exactly what's happening), it's doing scattered (too scattered IMO) echoes and reverbs with the even less occasional harmony. Most of what little movement there is from front to rear, and very little from left to right (and vice versa). This serves to "deaden" the surround effect IMO (though if he were to use the opposite stragetgy - all lateral movement and little vertical movement, the effect would essentially be stereo). We simply don't get much movement through the space, and though I can understand not wanting SS to be gimmicky (a very real hazard), he also seems to come short when using the technology he has to create something really cool.

It's certainly not a fudged effort - the SS mix is very good, and superior to the stereo mix in every respect - but it could be much more.

Fidelity:
Really fricking good. This album is superbly produced and contains a full, lush sound without killing the metal in it.

Misc:
I don't think that anyone other than those with a true DVD-A player can hear this disc as I don't think there's a DTS or DD mix. Though that doesn't hinder my own efforts, having a DTS encode would open up the mix to a much larger audience.

Overall
I give the SS version an 8. The music and production are top notch, but the lack of ingenuity in the mix brings it down, and the lack of a DTS encode means this release can only be heard by the few of us with dedicated players rather than the hundreds of millions worldwide with a regular-ol' DVD player. If surround , music is going to go anywhere at all, it won't be by making things available to the very few.
 

lolbroek

Active Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
85
Just correcting/adding a little note to e:leaf's post:

The disc DOES in fact contain a Dolby Digital and a DTS 5.1-mix in addition to the fabulous DVD-A layer.
 

byrdman7

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
348
Location
Alabama
Just correcting/adding a little note to e:leaf's post:

The disc DOES in fact contain a Dolby Digital and a DTS 5.1-mix in addition to the fabulous DVD-A layer.
There must be (2) different releases, mine came in a super jewel case with CD and is 4.0, no activity in the sub or center channel. It also does not have a DTS or Dolby Digital option.
 

LizardKing

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
4,019
Location
NZ
There must be (2) different releases, mine came in a super jewel case with CD and is 4.0, no activity in the sub or center channel. It also does not have a DTS or Dolby Digital option.
There is no menu option on the disc to change to DTS from Dolby Digital (4.0) - which is annoying, but if you hit your AUDIO button you should be able to change to the DTS audio.

The disc has very minimalist menus.
 

CrazySurround

New member
Joined
Jul 28, 2010
Messages
1
Hi All,

By hitting my audio button, i can have access to the DTS but the mix remains in 4.0. I get nothing from the center neither from the LFE.
On top of that, I've no idea where the DVD-A layer is...
Does someone can help me?

Thanks by advance
 

byrdman7

300 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
348
Location
Alabama
Hi All,

By hitting my audio button, i can have access to the DTS but the mix remains in 4.0. I get nothing from the center neither from the LFE.
On top of that, I've no idea where the DVD-A layer is...
Does someone can help me?

Thanks by advance
This is the worst DVD Audio to navigate I own. When the disc loads, it defaults to the DVD Audio layer. It is 4.0 in what ever format you choose to listen. It is a great sounding disc IMHO and I really like the material, they should get Neal to author their discs in the future and print the correct information on the cover. It's a cluster f**k in regards to the navigation and packaging.
 

LizardKing

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Oct 13, 2009
Messages
4,019
Location
NZ
Hi All,

By hitting my audio button, i can have access to the DTS but the mix remains in 4.0. I get nothing from the center neither from the LFE.
On top of that, I've no idea where the DVD-A layer is...
Does someone can help me?

Thanks by advance
Interesting that you don't get the DVD-Audio layer.

On my player (like Byrdman) I only by default see the DVDA. I have to go into DVD-Video mode (in my settings) to get the DD & DTS audio.
 

MyCuff

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
672
Location
Connecticut
I gave it a 7, for mix and music. Shows as 5.1 on my AVR, but only sounds like 4.0 at the speakers. Not a problem for me with 4 dedicated mains (like most of us). Defaults to only DVD-Audio, which is all I would listen to so that also is not a problem. Still, the mix is not very imaginative, and the music is just OK. Maybe I should have gave it a six, but too late...
 

neil wilkes

Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
4,301
Location
London, England
Hi All,

By hitting my audio button, i can have access to the DTS but the mix remains in 4.0. I get nothing from the center neither from the LFE.
On top of that, I've no idea where the DVD-A layer is...
Does someone can help me?

Thanks by advance
Don't own the disc, but it sounds to me as if your disc does not have a DVDA layer....or your player is set to VIDEO mode.
Can you have a look at your disc, and see if there is any content in the AUDIO_TS folder??
 

Neil Palfreyman

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
1,130
Location
Wiltshire, UK
This is why I bloody love this forum! I have had this disc for ages and couldn't work out why I had no option for the DD/DTS. Read the above and forcde my player to play the DVD Video and both additional tracks are there. :) Still no option to choose them but at least they're select-able from the player's remote.

I also don't think there's a center or LF channel but at least on DTS the DSP in my amp will put low frequencies to the woofer, which helps a bit.

Despite the lack of channels I think this is a pretty good mix; haven't rated it yet but it will be at least a 6 or 7 for sure. There's a dearth of metal and prog/metal in surround and this (and Dead End Kings) are worthy additions to what's available.
 
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