(9/10) Exactly four years ago, I had the chance to visit Jyvaskyla in Finland, which is a smaller city North of Helsinki. Every time a new Swallow The Sun album is on its way, I’m reminded of walking through the wintery streets of Jyvaskyla, which, on a grey day, feels like someone seriously swallowed the sun. No doubt why Juha Raivio gave his band such a name and it’s the gloomy vibe of Swallow The Sun’s music that fits perfectly too into this context.
However this review is about the new Swallow The Sun album and not about their hometown. It describes though the background very well, with all its darkness and grey shades. ‘When the Shadow is Forced Into the Light’ is album number seven, offered by the Nordic six piece band, not considering the fact that ‘Songs From the North’ were already three longplayer in itself.
The newest strike is a single album that comprises of eight songs and the band stays true to themselves. In contrary to the deviating style of the ‘Lumina Aurea’ EP, the longplayer pays attention to the typical Swallow The Sun trademarks. Doom Metal and Death Metal perfectly unit with the opener being the first impressive prove of work. Slow riffs, dark vocals and bloodcurdling screams create a morbid and sinister vibe throughout. The interaction of calm and loud are done to perfection, all together leading to a very strong opening statement.
‘The Crimson Crown’ follows and it’s again the slow pace that puts a hypnotic spell on the listener. The song comes with less outbursts and is more atmospheric than the opener., but it’s again the grey shades of melancholy, covering this song. Also the half acoustic ‘Firelight’s spreads its wistfulness before ‘Upon the Water’ reflects Swallow The Sun’s Death- and Doom Metal roots.
The finale furioso is entitled ‘Never Left’. The seven minutes epos is the perfect combination of all you l heard before. Calm, soulful and mournful are some of the keyword, describing this anthemic doom monster. Equipped with an extremely dense sound the song is an excellent closer.
As not expected different Swallow The Sun totally delivers to expectations. Paivio and band mates seem to have an almost endless flow of creativity and the guys have the ability, and the toolkit by hand, to translate emotions into music. Enjoy the darkness.
- When the Shadow is Forced Into the Light
- The Crimson Crown
- upon the Water
- Stone Wings
- Clouds on Your Side
- Here on the Black Earth
- Never Left
Label: Century Media
Genre: Doom/Death Metal
Release Date EU: January 25th, 2019