Katatonia is a Swedish heavy metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse (formerly known as Lord Seth) and Anders Nyström (formerly known as Blakkheim). The early Katatonia albums, along with albums by bands such as My Dying Bride, Anathema and Paradise Lost, are sometimes considered forerunners of the death/doom genre.
The early Katatonia releases, such as the EP Jhva Elohim Meth... The Revival and their debut album Dance of December Souls, are noted for the overall bleak melancholy and despair of their sound, often giving them the classification of black/doom or death/doom. The band recorded For Funerals to Come in September 1994. Afterwards, Le Huche left the band. For Funerals to Come was released in 1995. The band took the whole year off due to their struggle to find a permanent lineup.
When Jonas Renkse formed October Tide in 1995 with Fredrik Norrman, he decided to revive Katatonia and had Fredrik Norrman join the band. In 1996, Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt performed the growling vocals on Brave Murder Day when regular Katatonia singer (and then-drummer) Renkse became unable to perform harsh vocals properly. Scarlet Heavens (with Primordial) was also released in 1996, but recorded in 1994 as what Renkse describes as something "we never intended to release" due to its soft sound in which Katatonia did, which was not their style. During one of Katatonia's tours, Renkse fell ill and was temporarily replaced by Kenneth Englund. In 1997, the band enlisted help from Åkerfeldt once again for Sounds of Decay. Before the release of Sounds of Decay, the band decided to record Saw You Drown, which returned to the sound of Scarlet Heavens. Meanwhile the band recorded their third studio album.
"Ghost of the Sun" and Viva Emptiness, a single and a full-length album respectively, were released in 2003. In 2004, the band released Brave Yester Days (the title being a play on their album Brave Murder Day), which is a double-disc release including all cuts from EPs up to Saw You Drown, selected cuts from full-length albums Brave Murder Day and Dance of December Souls, and two tracks from a compilation. In 2005, another compilation was released called The Black Sessions. It documented later releases and includes a live DVD. The band recorded their seventh studio album."