Swallow The Sun - Hope review
|Band:||Swallow The Sun|
|Release date:||February 2007|
02. These Hours Of Despair
03. The Justice Of Suffering [feat. Jonas Renkse]
04. Don't Fall Asleep (Horror Pt.2)
05. Too Cold For Tears
06. The Empty Skies
07. No Light, No Hope
08. Doomed To Walk The Earth
09. These Low Lands [Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus cover] [Digipak bonus]
Swallow The Sun's third album was probably one of the most expected returns in the Doom spectre this year, and for good reasons. After the immediate, and probably somewhat unexpected impact of "The Morning Never Came" in 2003, and the good reception of its successor, "Ghosts Of Loss", I think many were curious to know if Swallow The Sun's consistency was to be maintained, or if, instead, they'd crumble in the usually difficult third work. Thankfully, it was the first option that turned out to be the correct one.
The band gained a solid fan base with their delicate and easily listenable, if extremely cold Doom/Death Metal; that has become the characteristic sound of Swallow The Sun, and they don't abdicate of that. The title gains almost a sarcastic dimension when associated to the music, as the intention to create a dark and gloomy atmosphere remains essential. In general, there aren't many changes since 2005, no drastic changes at least. The songs stretch for many minutes, and their structures are diverse, the music is rich and well produced and there's space for both extremely calm and heavier moments.
However, I don't think we can categorically say we are getting more of the same. The bass work is more subtle. There are a lot more clean vocals. More keyboards. Less songs like "Deadly Nightshade", with riffs dominating. Overall, "Hope" sounds more relaxed and melancholic to me. Take "The Justice Of Suffering": the first verses are typical, but then you get to the chorus and the song suffers a metamorphosis, and becomes as light as Swallow The Sun has ever been. "Hope" may never reach the sheer depressiveness of "Gloom, Beauty And Despair", but it constantly follows the sad and beautiful path of a "Forgive Her", for example.
This band always seemed to want to walk its own path in the genre, certainly without aiming at revolutionizing it, but clearly adding its own personal touch, and that's always a plus, on any kind of music. If you were already following their work closely, "Hope" will not disappoint you. It's accessible, it's diverse, it's an almost one hour long journey through various tempos and emotions. In this reviewer's opinion, it's Swallow The Sun's best work to date. Now, I hope they can keep releasing an album this good every two years. I hope…
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