Review: Swallow the Sun “Moonflowers” [Century Media Records]

Review: Swallow the Sun “Moonflowers” [Century Media Records]

- in Reviews

Two years have passed before Finnish doom/death metal stars Swallow the Sun delighted us with full-length records, and in the late fall Century Media has released their eighth studio album Moonflowers. And the name speaks for itself; this album is mysterious, dark and even a bit romantic (but with significantly grim imprint). And without doubt, these harsh doomsters always present good quality in everything – from songwriting and visual side to musical performance and conceptual visions. And also it was made with a pure heart – so genuine and soulful, full of passionate flames.

Born in the first year of millennium Swallow the Sun from the beginning were pursuing creative ideas of doom/death, preached by such bands as Saturnus or Novembers Doom, but with more considerable incline towards melodic side. And still, their music is teetered on the verge of gothic music, but they always manage to stay in the safe area of time-tested doom/death. And it’s not because of their deliberate refusal to have a constant female singer; it’s rather thanks to their ability to soberly use the keyboards without obsessive sweetness or mystifying atmosphere. But there are always symphonic elements in their music; Moonflowers isn’t the exception, and once again, the live instruments of guest musicians (violin, viola and cello) make this album even more alive with emotions and authenticity. And that means a lot.

They really like sad and tranquil intros, full of sorrowful woes; often they are acoustic and incredibly relaxing (despite this grieving atmosphere), but after them the songs wander into traditional doom/death battlefield with increased tempo and enhanced heaviness. Symphonic solemnity isn’t the main thing here – just the perfect backdrop to beautify the moody obscurity. Moonflowers is also full of bridges, when the heaviest and the grimmest parts are interrupted by melodic and melancholic slow-offs with clean voice (opposing to deliriously juicy growls). And they are truly beautiful and acutely emotional, so these contrasts effectively enrich the multi-patterned structures of the songs. There’s nothing complicated about how these songs are built, but regardless, the music of Swallow the Sun isn’t soaked into closed-minded traditionalisms, but it is also far from experimental explorations of untraveled ways.

Further it goes, lesser the heaviness, so the first half is much darker and closer to real doom/death metal, whilst other half offers more melodic reprieves, progressive moves and positive moments. The voice of Cammie Gilbert from Oceans of Slumber on “All Hallows’ Grieve” is a real treasure; not only has it graced the song with authentic sophistication, but also has made it more progressive and unique. “The Void” is even tainted by dark/alternative rock hints, but “The Fight for your Life” is thundered by dark/gothic influence. And the last composition “This House has no Name” opens up to black metal space with atypical rapidness and piercing screams.

It’s not so easy to be twenty years in one band and still sticking to original stylistic concepts, you need to be open-minded and maddeningly sincere, otherwise it won’t work. With a good balance between noncompromising death/doom brutality and melodic lightweight somberness, Moonflowers continues to keep up the high standards, but with fresh ideas on the visions of the past and old school obstinacy.

If you really would like to support Antichrist, you can just Share our article.
You can also support Antichrist by sending a couple bucks to cover some webhosting expenses.
=>> PayPal