(In this post, DGR reviews the latest album from Finland’s Swallow the Sun.)
Considering the amount of hype that we at NCS generated for Emerald Forest And The Blackbird in advance of its release, it’s difficult to fathom why it’s taken as long as it has to finally get some proper thoughts up about the full disc. That was, until I read Islander’s post earlier this month about the best albums of 2012 so far and noticed that my list was one of the few that included Swallow The Sun’s new album.
I’ve also been in a pretty goth/death/doom-heavy mode as of late. I think I currently have eight different reviews going at the moment, and three of them belong to bands whose music includes dirge elements (the other two being the great Inborn Suffering and Barren Earth releases), so that’s probably another factor.
And finally, Swallow The Sun seem to be one of those bands who are constantly overlooked, especially for a group whose past four releases (counting Plague Of Butterflies, since I started with Hope) have been consistently great if you’re in the mood for trying to find some beauty in utter misery and desolation.
Swallow the Sun have slowly been morphing their sound, so it isn’t as overtly oppressive and miserable, instead becoming something more cold and hopeless. The group’s previous disc, New Moon, was one of my favorites when it came out, and I still think people owe it to themselves at least to give the track Lights On The Lake (Horror Part III) a listen, because it is one of the best examples of an excellent song just lifting a whole album far beyond its initial first impression of, “This is pretty good”.
Emerald Forest And The Blackbird feels like a continuation of what the band were doing on New Moon. They’ve slowly shifted away from their initial style of slow, crawling, funeral-esque doom and started working in elements that are more melancholic and more melodic in nature. Emerald Forest includes a hefty amount of clean vocals, as well as significant usage of acoustic guitar. There’s even one song in this disc’s expanse of music that is a somewhat straightforward acoustic ballad, no matter how depressing the subject matter is. Continue reading »