Swallow the Sun
Plague Of Butterflies


4.0
excellent

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
September 16th, 2008 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


Swallow the Sun is one of those bands where you can just say their name, and people will either respond in their minds with a “Hell yeah!” or a subtle “…ugh.” You really don’t have a place to start for introductions with them, making it difficult to overcome the barrier of language to turn people on to what you/they are trying to express. And now they have returned with a single song that paints a portrait, ever so carefully if you really listen; a single song that portrays a story of delicate annihilation and, of course, heartrending loss. If you’re a musician you understand just how difficult it is to transfer certain feelings from your mind to sound, and Swallow the Sun seemingly do this effortlessly. If you know the band, you should recognize the growth undergone here, as this concept (from the sound of it) doesn’t seem doable, let alone interesting if you want to stretch that far.

As I mentioned, there is only one song, lasting 35 minutes. The story is broken up into three parts: Losing the Sunsets, Plague of Butterflies, and Evael 10:00. It’s a story of a hermit, deep woods, loneliness and the plague, and according to Juha (guitarist/composer), it is the soundtrack complementing a short film they may be putting together. The diversity of the many parts is one of the first things you’ll notice, and the way they are constructed together is noticeably a venture that no doom band has begun; then taking into account the pure, organic chemistry the band has with each other, it’s as if they feed off each other to produce their piece of the puzzle. Like many classical composers will say, a song’s beauty is truly the sum of its parts, and that seems to be the focus here.

Moving on to the members, people may be happy to hear that Mikko’s vocals have variation now! No longer does he just do standard low and high growls; he has incorporated his influences much more than before, stating Ihsahn as a main one. Even so, his standard growls have more power (meaning more dual vocals!) and aren’t as muffled as on previous albums, though there’s still room for improvement. His clean vocals may take getting used to for some for they sound unsure/not confident, but after listening to this album a few times they lose any annoyance. As always, Juha and Aleksi (keyboards) are shining together with Juha’s liquid, desperate melodies and Aleksi’s unique atmosphere; naturally Markus maintains his rhythms with confidence. Matti (bass) has a couple shining parts, but could be used more exclusively. Speaking of, Pasi’s drum parts have never sounded livelier.

Thankfully, there’s nothing else you could describe as lively here. Throughout the album there is a vast undercurrent of supernatural ora, and if played through the right mindset deals interesting results depending on who you are. The album progresses from brittle, decadent sounds to your slow, traditional riffs, blending with beautiful piano runs with winds in the background to astonishingly crushing, heavy-as-*** riffage. Honestly, some of the heavy parts took me by surprise; think Gojira meets Opeth heavy. If you remember Too Cold for Tears, then I hope you like where the outro took that song, because there are a few parts similar here. Even so, there is almost no repetition whatsoever; aside from one or two recurring themes. With that in mind, I’ve come to find that this song flows smoother than a Cristina Scabbia erotic massage…if only I could compare…:(

Also included is the demo that got the band signed. Honestly it’s not that great, mainly due to Mikko’s immature vocals and one key factor that a doom band should never do: Do not play your songs faster! However, for you little tykes who think doom is too depressing, you just might be able to try this sucker out. Either that or I’m just immune to doom for now until the next Katatonia album comes out. Point is that if you enjoy concepts and have patience, there’s no reason you shouldn’t check it out. Past haters should give it a chance because this is something new for the band. As a latecomer of my top 2008 albums, I would highly recommend this to fans of dark, intense, and dismal music.



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user ratings (101)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Shattered_Future (3)
A 35 minute song starts to show the cracks in Swallow The Sun's writing....


Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
September 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

streaming here:
http://www.spinefarm.fi/swallowthesunecard/

BallsToTheWall
September 16th 2008


44593 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review. I'm still curious to check this out even though Hope was terrible.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Yazz_Flute
September 16th 2008


18802 Comments


might check this out. Only album of theirs I have is "The Morning Never Came" which I never fully got in to, but appreciated it whenever i listened to it. Might give that another spin...

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

beans
September 16th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow this sounds amazing
i love swallow the sun so i will be getting this

DDconjoined
September 16th 2008


326 Comments


what a month for metal, this, trivium, Tallica, Burst. All i need now is some Ikuinen Kaamos. Good review man.

Essence
September 16th 2008


3586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Balls...
Hope was amazing...

Did you just mention Trivium in the same sentence as Burst? You, sir, Fail.This Message Edited On 09.16.08

fireaboveicebelow
September 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the new trivium leaked and it was pretty awful. no more trivium talk.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 16th 2008


7926 Comments


Plague of the Butterflies? Seriously? They couldn't have come up with an even less threatening title?

Essence
September 16th 2008


3586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Splendid review! Though, you say the album is streaming, but only 1 minute clips. While that may be enough for other types of metal, it 'twas not enough for me... now I must get this.


@Coke: What about Plague of the Angry Frenchmen?

This Message Edited On 09.16.08

fireaboveicebelow
September 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well it leaked a while ago, but for me to post the review early it has to stream

lol angry frenchmen....thank you for making my day

jrowa001
September 16th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is really good, probably their best but i need a little more time to soak it all in before i rate. ill even have to lower their other album scores

good reivew, pos'd

Essence
September 16th 2008


3586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A leak? *gasps*

*suddenly vanishes*


Pos'd, by the way.

Platonism
September 16th 2008


168 Comments


Plague of Butterflies is such a queer name...
But um, yeah their album before this was cool.

beans
September 16th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

patonism

what a queer name

fireaboveicebelow
September 16th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you spelt it wrong

Platonism
September 16th 2008


168 Comments


Yeah it's not as cool as bunit9488, but hell, I tried, ha.

NOTINTHEFACE
September 16th 2008


1653 Comments


The clips sounded phenomenal, to be quite honest. I was slightly underwhelmed by Hope (although it's growing on me now) but that sounded like a vast improvement, and your review has me resignedly emptying the sad remains of my bank account. Thank you, sir.

fireaboveicebelow
September 17th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

::bows:: my pleasure

thanks for the comments everyone

Essence
September 17th 2008


3586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow, they cranked their atmospheres WAAAAAAAAAAAY up.

(by that, I mean that there is an even greater emphasis on atmosphere, and they are even better than before)This Message Edited On 09.16.08

rasputin
September 17th 2008


14550 Comments


I was going to review this but never got around to it. Easily the worst album title of the year. It's a solid album, but nothing really special. The demo tracks were actually more enjoyable than the Plague of Butterflies track itself, which was rather boring.



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