Finnish melodic doom/death act Swallow The Sun has long defined itself as a cathedral of emotions manifesting the gloomy hues of melancholy in all its nuances and the slow solemn pace. The eighth album “Moonflowers” weaves a thread of somber romanticism which conveys a deep sentimental depth and mood full of sorrow that borders into endless grief. As such their art became a sanctuary for the grieving souls, led by the creative mind of Juha Raivio who finds himself once more carrying the ponderous weight of emotions. In the breadth of this sullen crescendo blending the melodic effect of the guitars, even morbidly so the death metal growls of Mikko Kotamäki are embedded in the heavier section. Swallow The Sun on the eighth album upholds the definite tone of melancholy and the songs are shrouded in the gray mist. The shimmering orchestra creates scenic and animated realms of rich cinematic scope, with the elegant touch of heartbreaking vocals causing despair.
“Moonflowers” conveys grandeur beauty, even when showcasing the refined guitar riffs they’re seemingly luxurious and spaciously rich. The melodies give an ethereal feel, taking you to the shadowy recess of your heart. The opening track “Moonflowers Bloom in Misery” is a melancholy piece that juxtaposes the orchestral elements, before the crashing guitars and growls cleave through the haunting strings of the violin. The morose side of the music delivers a powerful melange that conjoins the darkest shades of melodramatic intensity. “Enemy” is one of these songs that descends upon deep profundity though it offers plenty of beautiful moments from the lead guitars and rich tapestry for the slow gloomy tunes intermingle with the clean vocals.
The elegant interplay between the keyboards and guitars on “Woven into Sorrow” reveal the deep profundity of the craft, with classical orchestral arrangements enhancing the atmosphere. There comes a moment of sheer heaviness from the thundering guitars uplifting the brooding mood. Swallow The Sun‘s new album explores the penchant of gothic and doom metal as they simply managed to weave such a remarkable set of bleak and depressive songs that maintains the artful flamboyance. The songs stride towards the dismal landscapes of woeful melodies and attain perfect harmony. The orchestral textures are combined to the musical palette to lend a soothing and atmospheric spectrum in equal measures bringing an emotional depth that will make you lose your senses.
“Keep Your Heart Safe from Me” ebbs and flows with the swelling violin and the lumbering weight of heavy guitars, while slowly slinking between bleaker moments, the music invites you into their dreamy soundscapes. “Moonflowers” is exquisitely crafted by these fine musicians who find themselves entering the vast halls of gothic/doom metal, the elements of progressive rock add another dimension to this stunning track. “All Hollows’ Grieve” has such a brooding quality of mesmerizing gothic soundtrack filled with raw emotion-packed vocals and the vibrant dual mixture of the female vocals of Cammie Gilbert (Oceans of Slumber). The sonic textures are ornamented with distinct vocal lines that give a soothing effect, this well-crafted song outshines the captivating vocal performance of the duet.
Reaching an emotional depth on tracks like “The Void”, which immediately soak the listener into its creative and spacious melodies. The clean vocals superbly float across the humming bass guitar and rhythm guitars, creating a somber aura of deep echoing melodies bringing the song to a musical eloquence. While the chorus is beautifully placed at the heart of this breathtaking song, Swallow The Sun brings the harvest of its melodies, to display an intellectual sense of fine musicianship. On “Moonflowers” the collective effectively expands the scale without necessarily offering anything new to the fans as they extract the elegant arrangements of the orchestral elements and the soothing vocal work.
“The Fight of Your Life” highlights the lush instrumental feel of a progressive rock ballad that sounds almost cinematic, however as the song progress, the music takes a twisted turn into death/doom metal. The incredible sense of the composition melds seamlessly with the atmospheric keyboards, guitar solos, and heavy growls. The album closure “This House Has No Home” excels at fusing the elements of black metal and gothic rock into an organic and eerie play which stands as one of their most invigorating songs, the tremolo-picked riffs suddenly break into a faster-paced tempo reminding the old fans of their albums like “New Moon”.
Swallow The Sun continues to hold its old formula of wrapping up a gloomy gothic sensation of warmth and misery. The Finnish masters are more capable to pull the dark penchant of death/doom sound and hopefully they will long grace those who demand a heavier and majestic sound of the glorious past.
Release Date: November 19th, 2021
Label: Century Media Records
- Moonflowers Bloom in Misery
- Woven into Sorrow
- Keep Your Heart Safe from Me
- All Hallows’ Grieve
- The Void
- The Fight of Your Life
- This House Has No Name