A few years ago, the thought of a meeting of minds between Katatonia and Pineapple Thief alumni would have sounded an implausible prospect. Even with the former’s recent gradual prog leanings, the initial idea of such a marriage is quite an unusual prospect. But in a musical world proud of the weird and wonderful, the result of a project by Pineapple Thief mastermind Bruce Soord and Katatonia’s baritone mouth piece Jonas Renske helps it all make sense.
Away from his day job, “Wisdom Of Crowds” is the chance to see Bruce’s songwriting and ideas unshackled and free to roam. Thus, this proves to be a very busy record brimming with inspiration, encompassing moments of the cast’s own acts, as well as nods to synth reliant acts and alternative bands like Radiohead, even verging into near dubstep territory on ‘The Light’. Arguably mostly far removed from Katatonia, it does retain the bands melancholic atmosphere and tone in parts, but through an alternate lense.
Strange as it is to hear Jonas’ instantly recognisable voice on such an album, the range in the music projects his already widely applauded voice even further; his subtle range fitting neatly across the album’s diversity with ease. It does fall a bit under the weight of its expectation however, with some songs not quite hitting the mark at first. With repeated listens however, it definitely improves and breathes new life to proceedings. “Wisdom Of Crowds” proves a fascinating collaboration of the minds of two of modern prog’s most versatile and prominent creative forces, with the sense that there could be much greater things to come if they chose to do so again.