Album Reviews

Swallow the Sun – Emerald Forest and the Blackbird Review

Released by: Spinefarm

Release Date: September 4th, 2012

Genre: Death Metal/Doom

Links: http://www.swallowthesun.net

 

Line Up:

Mikko Kotamäki – vocals

Juha Raivio – guitars

Markus Jämsen – guitars

Aleksi Munter – keyboards

Matti Honkonen – bass

Kai Hahto – drums

 

Tracklist:

01. Emerald Forest And The Blackbird

02. This Cut Is The Deepest

03. Hate, Lead The Way

04. Cathedral Walls [feat. Anette Olzon]

05. Hearts Wide Shut

06. Silent Towers

07. Labyrinth Of London (Horror Pt. IV)

08. Of Death And Corruption

09. April 14th

10. Night Will Forgive Us

 

I like to try to check out bands before I see them live if I’m able to. If you read my concert writings, you’re well aware that I see a lot of shows…A LOT. Coming up in about a month I’m seeing Kreator and Accept live. I’m really stoked to say the least. I’ve never seen Accept live before so I’m eager to see them, and despite the fact that Udo isn’t with them, I believe it will still be an incredible performance. I’ve seen Kreator before, but I enjoy their music quite a lot and loved them live the last time. One of the opening acts is a band called Swallow the Sun. Hailing from Finland, I had my expectations set in mind as to what style they would be. Just like the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. Or a band by it’s location.

If you’re familiar at all with the band Opeth, I’m going to use them as a baseline comparison. No, Swallow the Sun bears little resemblance to the aforementioned prog metal greats, but hear me out. The comparison is more along the lines of they have moments of heavy brutality tempered with some of the most beautiful haunting melodies. Two parts doom and death metal, one part quiet acoustic passages and melodic guitar solos. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t familiar with this band before hearing about them on tour and now listening to Emerald Forest and the Blackbird, the bands fifth album out now on Spinefarm Records. With the hauntingly dark “Hearts Wide Shut,” the pure black metal “Hate, Lead the Way,” the dirge/doom “April 14th,” and the epic title track combine to make a masterful and unique release that should please many metal fans. One thing I appreciate about them is the fact that though they do some things on the surface that seems standard, their approach is completely their own.

So now there are three bands I’m anxious to see in October in one night. Swallow the Sun are a refreshing take on some typically over done genres (doom, death, and black metal) that set them apart from so many other bands. I probably enjoy the quieter, lusher passages than the heavier stuff, but as a whole the album is quite good.

 

Written by Chris

Ratings    Chris    8/10

 

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