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Review: Swallow the Sun - Hope
Swallow the Sun

Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 57:49
Tracks: 8
Genre: Doom/Death

Rating: 5/5

Review online: March 20, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.43/5 (88.57%) (14 Votes)

Amazing. I got this in the same promo mailing with the awful Cruachan, and so I was not excited about it, but one spin and I was a total convert. Swallow The Sun are a Doom/Death band from Finland, this is their third album, and it is just stunning. I really don't know if any other band in the style will be able to beat this one in 2007.

Doom/Death is so easy to do wrong, but this is done just right. Recalling a moodier Novembers Doom, Swallow The Sun fill their songs with crushingly heavy but still intensely melodic riffs, alternating the expected growling vocals with really well-done clean singing and bitter intonations. The atmosphere, so all-important in Doom music, is melancholic, brooding, and subtly horrific. The compositions are dark, melodic, and powerful. The band has a key player, but the keys are used properly to provide mood and backup, never overpowering the guitars that take and keep center stage. The production is first-rate, being crystal clear but not overglossing the music.

Swallow The Sun aren't going to rewrite the book of Doom, but they aren't really trying to do that. Yet they have managed to carve a distinct sound out of their influences, with their searing melodic riffs and beautiful and haunting harmonies. Songs like the awesome title track, the beautiful "The Justice Of Suffering", the frightening "Don't Fall Asleep", and the magisterial closer "Doomed To Walk The Earth" are Doom/Death works as fine as any I have ever heard. Hope signals this band stepping into the first rank of Doom bands, and it will be a pleasure to watch them continue this way. This album is already one of the best of the year. Marvelous.

Other related information on the site
Review: Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: New Moon (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: New Moon (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Songs from the North I, II & III (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Interview with Juha Raivo (Guitars) on November 21, 2009 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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