The last couple of months I developed quite an affection to Finish metal bands. Their music oozes a delicate form of melancholy combined with proficient musical skills to satisfy my other need for progressive sounds. One of my recent discoveries is a doom/death metal band called Swallow The Moon. Their New Moon is the centre piece of this review.
The opening track in the form of These Woods Breathe Evil sets the stage for the rest of New Moon. It’s a relatively up-tempo track with a slight progressive undercurrent and some black metal influences here and there. Falling World is a more traditional doom metal track with some psychedelic effects and a shimmering feeling of melancholy in the best Katatonia tradition. Graceful guitar melodies form the icing on the cake.
The Katatonia and Judgement era Anathema dominate Sleepless Swans, although Swallow The Moon has a much harsher edge, underpinned with a couple of well placed growls and screams. This continues with And The Heavens Cried Blood, which is a sweeping and majestic doom metal track with again some slight progressive undertones.
Lights On The Lake (Horror Part III) is the best track on New Moon. It combines all the aforementioned influences. It even contains some blastbeats, which is very uncommon in this type of metal. The title track again reminds me of the softer Katatonia and Anathema material, mainly because of the soothing melodies and the delicate vocals. Servant Of Sorrow is again a more up-tempo track and probably the most challenging one of the bunch. Weight Of The Dead is a majestic album closer as only Swallow The Sun can deliver.
As with most Finish band the production of New Moon is spot on. It’s heavy, clear and organic. This really enhances the melancholic atmosphere of the music.
If you like adventurous doom metal with slight progressive influences captured in intelligent compositions, then New Moon by Swallow The Sun is the album to go for. Very impressive indeed!
Written by Raymond Westland