Swallow The Sun - When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light review



Reviewer:
N/A

212 users:
8.45
Band: Swallow The Sun
Album: When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light
Release date: January 2019


01. When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light
02. The Crimson Crown
03. Firelights
04. Upon The Water
05. Stone Wings
06. Clouds On Your Side
07. Here On The Black Earth
08. Never Left


Snow has driven in from all directions. Severe cold and fierce winds have numbed the heart. The wolf has swallowed the sun and the pain and the suffering is just too much to bear.

Losing a loved one can be an apocalyptic experience and even symbolically signify the disappearance of light and the sun for the surviving person. Juha Raivio went through such a loss with the tragic death of his life partner and Trees Of Eternity bandmate Aleah Starbridge a little less than 3 years ago. He tried to channel his grief by forming Hallatar and releasing 2017's No Stars Upon The Bridge with lyrics based on her poetry. And now, When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light, with its title taken from the song "Broken Mirror" by Trees Of Eternity, is clearly another creation inspired by and dedicated to Aleah's memory.

Unlike the pitch-black and funereal "Lumina Aurea" that preceded it, When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light is melancholic in a manageable way. It's as if the music expresses personal grief but also accepts and embraces reality. It is neither cathartic, nor is it merely a weight taken off the mourner's shoulders; instead, it is the mourner's realization that he will never be the same person again but it is this very realization that makes him regain the desire to live and cherish the memory of the loved one that is no longer there.

Musically, there is a strong gothic aroma permeating the familiar melodic death/doom air. Clean vocals are used a lot more than growls and often the album has a shoegaze-y feel. In all fairness, I expected something very dark and crushing from this record, something maybe in the vein of "Lumina Aurea". But, although "when a shadow is forced into the light, it rips through your chest and burns like fire", there seems to be hope; perhaps the hope of a reunion when believing that separation is temporary and refers only to earthly time. This is why a constant fight between darkness and light is taking place in this album with no clear winner. The pain is evident and expected, but blissful hope is there too somehow.

Clocking in at under 53 minutes this is the shortest release by Swallow The Sun and its length may come as a surprise, especially when it's the follow-up to a three-part overkill like Songs From The North. The production is just flawless; this is one of these albums that make a vinyl copy worth buying and the outstanding artwork calls for such a purchase too. However, fans will find that this is not the greatest album by these Finns, they will notice that it gets repetitive at times, they may be bothered by its "softness" and simplicity. In this reviewer's opinion, all these things are beside the point.

The point wasn't to make the greatest album possible but to show that even though death is stronger than life, love is stronger than death. The point was to create something with an atmosphere that could really be felt. And in this regard, Swallow The Sun have hit the mark because you have to be completely heartless to not be moved by this record.

"Cast all the demons in the sea
Into the abyss of the Earth
To the sleep of the wild sun
I want you to bury me, bury me"


 



Written on 29.01.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 371 users
29.01.2019 - 11:24
Zykloncrawaxx
And that is why I am putting off this album until I am ready for it.
Good review.
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29.01.2019 - 12:07
Bad English
Masterchief
Snow and winter wind is warm, ot cold. Its made for chosen People same as doom metal, perfectly fitts in forest cabin in northen scandinavia. Musicaly its good, maybe i was negative influenced about this band from elitists
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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29.01.2019 - 12:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Already likely my metal album of the year so far
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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29.01.2019 - 17:47
Unhealer
Eclecticist
It's good, but they played it really safe. I expected something more challenging after that excellent three-album release and a song like Lumina Aurea. That said, Stone Wings might be among their best songs.
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29.01.2019 - 18:33
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Unhealer on 29.01.2019 at 17:47

It's good, but they played it really safe. I expected something more challenging after that excellent three-album release and a song like Lumina Aurea. That said, Stone Wings might be among their best songs.

I would have loved a whole album like Lumina Aurea. Their fans wouldn't though, I suspect.
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Instagram
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29.01.2019 - 19:31
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Unhealer on 29.01.2019 at 17:47

It's good, but they played it really safe. I expected something more challenging after that excellent three-album release and a song like Lumina Aurea. That said, Stone Wings might be among their best songs.

They kinda locked themselves in a corner after releasing that monolith. They set the bar so high that it would be impossible to reach again.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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29.01.2019 - 19:58
Risto
Wandering Midget
Written by Unhealer on 29.01.2019 at 17:47

It's good, but they played it really safe.

Considering how distinct identity this has compared to disc 1 of Songs of the North, I can't say I agree. This is clearly the better hour in my books.
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29.01.2019 - 21:05
FYA
Destroyer
Written by Unhealer on 29.01.2019 at 17:47

That said, Stone Wings might be among their best songs.


Bruh, when Jaanis voice kicks in is my fav. part of whole release.
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30.01.2019 - 02:36
MetalManic
Neat fact: Aleah Starbridge is a posthumus guest vocalist on the new Antimatter album
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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01.02.2019 - 13:26
matt4815162342
Written by nikarg on 29.01.2019 at 18:33

Written by Unhealer on 29.01.2019 at 17:47

It's good, but they played it really safe. I expected something more challenging after that excellent three-album release and a song like Lumina Aurea. That said, Stone Wings might be among their best songs.

I would have loved a whole album like Lumina Aurea. Their fans wouldn't though, I suspect.

I am a big fan of StS and I would have loved it sooooo much. But yeah, I get your point, I'm pretty sure that most of the fans would not.
I'd also be really happy if they recorded more material sounding like 3rd disc of the previous record at some point in the future.
Anyway, I love the new album, and I think that from now on, they can move in whatever way they see fit, or more precisely whatever way will Juha's mental health change in the upcoming years...
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02.02.2019 - 15:06
fixxxer_ki
Heartbreaking review
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10.02.2019 - 05:20
Lardypants
I found this latest album hard work to listen to,

you have to be in the right mood for it,

what mood that is, I don't know, I haven't found it yet.
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