Swallow The Sun has definitely learned a lot from the glorious legacy of bands like My Dying Bride and Anathema. The latest release romantically entitled “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird” represents an agonizing journey in the deepest realm of dark/gothic metal.
The melodic structure of the title track clearly reminds of the painful decadence of “Turn Loose The Swans” by My Dying Bride and of the sorrowful romanticism of “The Silent Enigma” by Anathema. Yet, Swallow The Sun manages to bring its personal musical vision with fierce growls, super melodic guitars and elegant keyboards arrangement.
“This Cut Is The Deepest” and “Hearts Wide Shut” are slow paced tunes that focuse on smooth clean vocals layered over pleasantly nostalgic acoustic arpeggios with an undeniable poetic attitude.
“Cathedral Walls” is another super melancholic slow track that might not be considered extremely unique but it certainly delivers some enchanting dreamy melodies. Mikko Kotamaki’s clean vocals are particularly emotional and guest vocalist Anette Olzon from Nightwish delivers a pleasant performance.
“Hate, Lead The Way!” still maintains the somber atmospheric theme of the album but brings a more aggressive approach with well constructed melodic death metal elements in terms of both vocals and guitar riffing.
“Labyrinth Of London” relies on a traditional gothic metal musical core with the addition of excellent atmospheric keyboards. The screams are particularly strong and vicious and I love the sudden mood change in the heartfelt duet with guest vocalist Aleah Stanbridge. Obviously, the reading of “London” by William Blake over a lengthy gloomy guitar solo renders everything more mysterious and attractive.
“Of Death And Corruption” is a classically emotional track featuring elements of traditional doom and the perennial obscurity of gothic metal riffing style. Despite the aggressive attitude and the dominating growls, this track has a sort of catchy vibe that creates an immediate impact in the listener.
Certainly, Swallow The Sun delivers a mature work of music but at times the songwriting is deprived of originality due to the band’s evident musical influences. Nevertheless, “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird” embodies a serious musical effort and is an appropriate musical choice for the Autumn season.