Swallow The Sun – Moonflowers

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The throne of atmospheric doom / death metal has been the case of two bands for many years. On one hand, Draconian from Sweden who on the same period last year released the excellent “Under A Godless Veil”. On the other hand, these Finns who present us their eighth full-length album, two years after “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light” and a few months after the glorious “20 Years Of Gloom, Beauty and Despair: Live In Helsinki”.

I do not think that much analysis is needed. What Swallow The Sun are doing does not change (with one small exception) and “Moonflowers” is an album that will not leave any of their fans unsatisfied. Through eight songs and fifty minutes of music, they confirm why they are considered top in their musical style and are strong candidates for one of the best releases of the current year.

Doom rhythms, magnetizing atmosphere and alternation between quiet acoustic parts and intense death outbursts. Mikko Kotamäki’s vocals are again in the spotlight, as he continues to be one of the few singers who magnetizes the listener in any way he sings. Either melodic or with deep growls, the result is just as impressive. Of course, the band focuses on its calmer side but this is not something that is a disadvantage, since “Moonflowers” has your attention from beginning to end.

Fillers do not exist, the enchanting Cammie Gilbert of Oceans Of Slumber participates in the awesome “All Hallow’s Grieve” while the big surprise comes at the end (the exception I said above) with “This House Has No Name”. Here the band plays…black metal! Oh yes, for a while I thought that they send me a wrong music file. Tremolo-picking riffs, blast beats and Kotamäki screaming his lungs out. I do not know if they intend to repeat something like this in the future but it was an interesting idea, since the synthetic talent and quality they have as musicians is not in question. Excellent album, highly recommended.