Swallow the Sun
Plague Of Butterflies


3.0
good

Review

by Shattered_Future USER (50 Reviews)
September 17th, 2008 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A 35 minute song starts to show the cracks in Swallow The Sun's writing.

Swallow The Sun made a name for themselves in the melodic death doom scene when their debut release, The Morning Never Came, hit in 2003. Since then, the Finnish sextet has enjoyed reasonable success and two more albums with their melancholic, crushing musical stylings and depressing atmospheres. Their last album, Hope, ranked up among the top albums of 2007 for me. While still sticking closely to the formula followed on the previous two albums, Hope brought an increased emphasis on the intensity of the music, with vocalist Mikko often layering his vocals for added effect.

Plague of Butterflies, the newest release, does nothing new.

Not to say the album is BAD, mind you. There’s just that overwhelming feeling of deja vu, that you’ve heard it all before. Which you have. The band’s blend of heavy C riffs, atmospheric keyboards, doom tempos, and screams, growls and fragile singing stick tightly to the formula laid down throughout the group’s career. There’s nothing you haven’t heard before. The claim that the album is much more atmospheric isn’t entirely unfounded, but once again, they’ve done it before. Howling wind noises don’t equal atmosphere either.

In addition, Mikko’s vocals aren’t up to par. His growls are as good as ever, and I love his higher screams (they do sound quite tortured), but his singing has definitely taken a step down. Blatantly obvious when he first comes in, his voice jumps around the notes, never really landing directly on them and locking in. Instead of sounding fragile, his voice sounds awkward and amateurish. This is a shame, too, since Hope stepped up the vocal work and turned in his best performance.

The biggest gripe with the album, though, is the fact that it’s one song. It’s a bloody chore to listen to this all the way through. If the album was split up into three songs like the tracklisting says, it would be much, much better because you could skip the first one and move onto the good parts. Plague Of Butterflies doesn’t really pick up until about 13 minutes through. Most people would have turned it off and moved on. The middle section is very well written, though. Much like "These Hours Of Despair" from Hope, the song moves along at a fast clip, occasionally slowing down for the main riff that is one of the better ones in Swallow The Sun’s catalog. It’s nothing special or unique, but it still has appeal.

The end of the song is also quite good, where the group trades in for the fast paced intensity for crushing melancholy, proving once again that there is beauty in despair. The clean vocals still aren’t up to par, but the high screams are terrific.

Sadly, 7 minutes of beautiful outro music and an enticing middle section cannot save a song bogged down in its own length, since that’s really all that there is of value on this disc. The demo songs are not as good as their album counterparts and only serve to fill the rest of the CD. If all of the supposed “atmospheric” parts were cut out and the song was split into three tracks, like I said above, it would have much more lasting value. There still is some good music in here. The listener just has to delve through too much of what we’ve been hearing since 2003. File this one only for hardcore Swallow The Sun fans.



Recent reviews by this author
Jeff Loomis Zero Order PhaseMar De Grises Draining The Waterheart
Mono You Are ThereAlanis Morissette Flavors of Entanglement
Alexandre Desplat The Golden Compass OSTTarja Turunen My Winter Storm
user ratings (101)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
fireaboveicebelow (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
September 17th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review. A 3 sounds more accurate after hearing this for the first time.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

bastard
September 17th 2008


3435 Comments


Happy 50th man.

P13
September 17th 2008


1327 Comments


Second paragraph basically shows what happens to most bands.

Kage
September 17th 2008


1172 Comments


S_F criticizing swallow the sun, i like it.

beans
September 18th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

50 reviews, good job man :chug:

nice review, a little low, i happen to really like this band although the points you make are very valid
i just enjoy their sound

maybe more than i should

rasputin
September 18th 2008


14555 Comments


Good review, this review is more in line with how I feel about the album.

Wizard
September 18th 2008


19613 Comments


Really well done review. Easy to read and too the point. I liked Hope and I was looking forward to hearing the 35 minute opus off this. Thanks for destroying my anticipation hahahaha jk. I will still give this a shot.

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

Shattered_Future
September 18th 2008


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

How about that, I did hit 50...thanks guys. This album isn't bad by any means, it's just significantly worse than the rest of their material and sounds the same.

botb
September 18th 2008


9760 Comments


Haven't heard this yet, but they are one of my favorite doom bands so i'll prolly check it out.

Digging: Solstafir - tta

Jayxsnoogans
October 20th 2009


72 Comments


It's just an EP....its not supposed to conform to album rules

devsol
October 20th 2009


347 Comments


yah it's not supposed to suck either but doesn't always work out that way

Essence
October 20th 2009


3588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i like this album sputin why you have to hate

devsol
October 20th 2009


347 Comments


sux

Essence
October 20th 2009


3588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

man you such a hata

devsol
October 20th 2009


347 Comments


my objectivity rating dropped below 80 for the first time ever the other day pretty sure i'm no hata

Essence
October 20th 2009


3588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yous a hata dont be in denial its uneahtlhy



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy