The indisputable masters of gloom, beauty & despair Swallow The Sun return with the highly anticipated full length “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light” which is an opus inevitably filled with grief but also symbolizes a necessary healing process to emerge from the darkest depths with renewed hopes ultimately proving that love is stronger than death.
The title track is such a magnificent album opener with marvelous refined symphonic tapestries surrounding a perfectly balanced mix of tormented instrumental passages and dreamy acoustic harmonies that allow Mikko’s vocals to effortlessly shift from tranquil cleans to utterly enraged growls yet despite the endless melancholy the guitar melodies seem to glow through immensely darkened sonic waves.
The magical essence of “The Crimson Crown” is drenched in darkness as sophisticated gelid atmospheric arrangements create a stylish melodic ensemble where an intense melancholia constantly influences the poignant vocal delivery and the enchanting guitar progressions which tend to focus on softer crispy harmonies.
“Upon The Water” depicts a cold gloomy wonderland with mesmerizing guitar melodies that guide you through an introspective music journey yet fiery rhythmic blasts and charismatic ominous growls channel raw obscure moments of doom and sheer agony embellished by sumptuous atmospheric layers.
The spellbinding composition of “Stone Wings” will immediately conquer your heart and stir a surreal emotional whirlwind as melodic guitars craft a profoundly darkened & melancholic ensemble emphasized by otherworldly orchestrations and grim doom tonalities while the soothing and highly addictive chorus convey fragile luminous feelings.
With a lavish combo of symphonic & atmospheric arrangements “Never Left” feels like an ode to eternal love that leaves you feeling shattered and guitars are once again impressive naturally shifting from ethereal melodic splendor to subtle doom oriented riffage inspired by a perennial spiritual aura while Mikko’s stellar vocal performance evokes wistful feelings.
The exceptional creative force of Swallow The Sun continues to flourish as “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light” might be their strongest release so far and it would be truly challenging to listen to the entire album without being touched by all those genuinely heart wrenching emotions perfectly expressed by the gorgeous and surprisingly widely accessible poetic melodies that become essential within the band’s signature doom/death metal realm.