Hanging Garden – Citylights Sessions

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‘Citylight Sessions’ is a recording of a live concert, but not just any run-of-the-mill tour gig this Finnish ensemble did. Quite the contrary, these masters of melancholy have taken 5 tracks from their latest album ‘The Garden’ and essentially reinvented themselves.

On any other night, the band’s sound could best be described as a particularly melancholic brand of gothic doom metal with more than a casual nod to their compatriots in Swallow the Sun with a touch of early day Katatonia thrown in.

On this fateful night, however, they did forego the heavy riffing and pounding drums and instead opted for a dreamy, ethereal sound with electronic percussion and a shoegazy haze of hypnotic guitars.

At the heart of this band still beats the dynamic vocal interplay between Toni and Riikka Hatakka. Now while Riikka’s delicate, heavenly musings were already well showcased in their prior discography, her male counterpart Toni usually bellows out his lyrics with deep growling grunts. On occasion, he has proven in the past he actually can sing in a clean voice as well, but never to this extent as on this night, which can actually watch in its entirety on the link below.

As you could see as a locale they didn’t choose any sweaty barroom, reeking of beer and other things, but rather the art gallery of the design company Paja & Bureau which highlights the special character of these sounds even more.

Curious to see if this was a one-off for these Finnish rockers or whether they actually, truly turned a page.


  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 8/10

An intriguing experiment that should appeal not only to longtime fans of the band, but just as well to fans of later day Katatonia or even The Gathering.

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