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Fans of the band - and I´m one of them - have been waiting anxiously for this new output, recorded in Swedish Fascination Street Studios with producer Jens Bogren, and also curiously. As there is a new guy with Swallow The Sun since May of this year, drummer Kai Hahto (Wintersun). Would that somehow influence their style?
After listening to New Moon I gotta say - yes.
It is already the first track “These Woods Breathe Evil” that shows the new direction of this album - much more aggressive, angry, despite the fact that singer Mikko increasingly uses his clear voice. You could put it into the category Black Metal, for all this epic opulence, occasionally garnished with Dani-like barking, and the increase in tempo could be - in comparison with earlier Doom days - even go as “Speed Metal” ... “Falling World” has this increased pace tendency and focus on clean vocals, too, plus a good portion of melancholy and evil growls; however, there is a lot of groove and Pop appeal that has you think of Paradise Lost. Ear candy, it could be one of the hit songs of this CD - and also the title track “New Moon” has all the features mentioned.
Don´t worry, STS have not lost their “mojo”, which is shown in the following 2 tracks and also with “Servant of Sorrow” – epic dramatic melancholy and evil growls, just the way we learned to love those Finns. “Lights On The Lake”, featuring additional fragile female vocals, provokes again a comparison with Black Metal - and WOW this time it´s no joke, there IS a Speed part in this song! I bet just that one will cause some serious jaw dropping...
The final track “Weight of the Dead” unites all the elements mentioned - the majestic appeal of Black Metal, viscous Doom, epic and catchy melancholic tunes - you´ll definitely get goose skin.
Summing up, Swallow The Sun are another Finnish band that can be just bought blindly. Because they manage to balance new elements with staying true to their style, without losing their credibility or just copying their "recipie for success" over and over again. Therefore both thumbs up!
1.These Woods Breathe Evil
4.And Heavens Cried Blood
5.Lights on the Lake (Horror pt. III)
7.Servant of Sorrow
8.Weight of the Dead