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Damn close to perfect doom/death - 99%

deidolon, August 21st, 2007

Swallow the Sun has become one of my many favorite
bands within the last year or so. A perfect combination of melodic death with doom/death Metal. I especially enjoy the versatility of the band to play more mid-paced doom ('The Justice of Suffering', 'Hope') as well as some in a funeral pace ('Too Cold For Tears', 'Doomed to Walk the Earth', [the end of] 'Don't Fall Asleep').

The lyrics are quite well written, though the story lines about haunting atmosphere, psychotic love and horror stories make for quite an experience. Vox themselves are surprisingly deep and powerful in the growls and the very creepy, on pitch singing makes for a winning combination. The guitars while not over complicated, are beautifully melodic, melancholic and orchestrated within the rhythms. The bass actually adds to the movement instead of taking away the tempo (taking the music further away from the funeral doom genre) and deepens the intensity of each chord it helps to finish off. The keyboards are very chill and well suited in the background of the music. I don't know how good the sound would come out without them actually. They seem to be the curtain behind the performance: remove them and you'll reveal the ugly inter-working pieces and processes behind the band. The drumming is really quite well placed on this album. The drummer manages to be complex within a doom pace and at the same time maintains a certain simplicity and flow. Almost as if calculating every guitar riff 4 seconds before it happens, the small fills and quick small cymbal work is impressive and could be considered a signature.

As we know, there is the song for which Jonas Renkse of Katatonia did guest vocals. It's not bad, kinda catchy at times. Did anyone pick up on that the riff at the :30 mark as well as at 2:24 seems eerily similar to the beginning of Murder (see: Brave *Murder* Day album)...? hmmm... Maybe I just smoke too much. ha. The Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus cover, released just 2 months after the official split-up announcement, translated to 'These Low Lands' (which seems ironic to translate by the way) fits nicely into the Swallow the Sun slow paced sound. Simplistic with incredible sound layers, like a gigantic storm front pushing it way through the sky, it also has a folky/melodic feel to it. Also we have the sequel to 'Horror' (see: The Morning Never Came album) being the single. When I first heard this record, this was my favorite song. It had everything; epic, eerie atmosphere, a catchy melody, an almost satirical breakdown (you would understand that better if you lived near my local scene), and powerfully brutal funeral march at the end. It really is what made me listen to this record, but during such, I learned to enjoy the real unique thing about this album. On further studious examination of this album I came to find that there were numerous memorable riffs, melodies and drum compositions (being a drummer myself). In every song (least though in 'The Justice of Suffering' and 'Don't Fall Asleep') there are NOT SO OBVIOUS little complexities that make this band so majestically solid and still fragile and dark.

Maybe I'm painting a picture here that only I can appreciate, but give it a listen and you decide for yourself.