Swallow the Sun
New Moon


3.0
good

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
November 7th, 2009 | 127 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "The Morning Never Came"..... chapter 4

When Finnish melodic death/doom metal band Swallow The Sun released their 2003 album The Morning Never Came, it was a fantastic piece of metal which showcased the depressive, slow, and rather minimalistic tendencies of doom metal. It also coupled these qualities with the bombastic ferocity of death metal to create an easily accessible piece through which the listener could venture forth into other, more classic-structured doom. This sound continued with frighteningly little deviation through 2005’s Ghosts Of Loss and 2007’s Hope. While the music was generally enjoyable and well-played, the ideas became more and more stagnant, reeking like a small pond in New Jersey. So now, six years later Swallow The Sun has released New Moon, an album which, ever so surprisingly, sounds exactly the same.

The compositions are different in the sense that the notes which are played are new, but the atmosphere of the album is an immediate trigger of deja vu. The depressive and down-tuned guitars strike heavy chords which lay a base for the airy keyboard melodies to offer a bit of harmony. The album sounds extremely dark, and remains hostile and vicious throughout the runtime, but this heaviness comes off as a façade for those who have heard Swallow The Sun before, because this is the same level of brutality and melody which you’ve heard over three albums. There are songs like “…And Heavens Cried Blood” which really bring an invigorating uplift to the album, using this sense of melody and heaviness in a clever way, highlighting the slow pace of the doom influences but also injecting a really clever, really effective melody into the background which actually makes the song extremely fresh. There are instances where influences are drawn from other genres such as black metal, evident not only in some tremolo picked riffs but also a few blast beats thrown in for good measure. Also, some wonderful female vocals are used which sound amazingly relaxing and fit the atmosphere of the music with brilliant perfection.

The same cleverness which makes their usual songwriting feel fresh is sadly missing on much of the rest of the album. Most of the album wallows in the same murky, depressing, atmosphere while making the typical slow/heavy/slow/heavy transitions. The pristine production doesn’t help a boring drum department, which doesn’t really do anything outside of keeping a simple beat, something which I was expecting going into the album. The same goes for the harsh vocals, which Mikko Kotamki belt out without much trouble or error, it’s just that his vocal delivery which switches between guttural and raspy isn’t a surprise at all. They aren’t inherently bad because of this lack of change, in fact they are quite good, it’s just that the transitions between the two styles are spastic and never really follow a flowing pattern, it’s as if he went into the studio and did whatever he wanted. On the other hand, his clean vocals remain devoid of emotion and range, but do show hints of improvement (as showcased in the title track) which hopefully indicates he is going for some sort of change with his cleans.

New Moon is classic Swallow The Sun, whether you appreciate their sound or not. The songwriting is fairly solid and a couple of the tracks in the core of the album are memorable, but the beginning and ending of the album really lack that punch which will draw the listener into the album, and send them out the door in shock. If you were a hater of this band before, don’t bother with this, but if you like their sound already, there are some gems to be found within this album. While the majority of the album shows a stubborn unwillingness to evolve, some small moments really stand out and remind me about what it felt like when I first heard Swallow The Sun, a highly interesting and heavily atmospheric sound. However, it seems that so much crust has built up over that sound by this point that the band really has no other choice but to abandon it, or risk being trapped within it.



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user ratings (182)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
SlMBOLlC (3.5)
An uneven, yet worthwhile listen for the sporadic excellence contained....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2009


16391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Objectively a 3, personally a 3.5 because I like their sound.

Really, just listen to tracks 4, 5 and 6 and be done with it.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

BallsToTheWall
November 7th 2009


44375 Comments


No matter how I feel about the band/music or album title, this has really, really cool artwork. Nice review Captain.


Also, whcih song has female vocals?

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2009


16391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Balls, I like the artwork too. "Lights on the Lake (Horror pt. III)" has the female vocals.

Buccaneer
November 7th 2009


692 Comments


Great review dude.

Album art rules.

Nikkolae
November 7th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

out off all the albums on STS's discography this has got to be my favorite, the title track is the best here imo but the whole album is ok, deff agree with the deja vu comment, its exactly the same meomentum and feeling as all the other albums have but somehow i like this one better

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2009


16391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree, the title track is my favorite. I really enjoy the guitar solo in that song.

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2009


10421 Comments


crysis i can say that i will probably never listen to 99% of the stuff you review, but i read it anyways because you are one of the best metal writers here. make this man a contrib!

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

Wizard
November 7th 2009


19406 Comments


Agreed^^^^.

Great review, boring as fuck band.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2009


16391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


crysis i can say that i will probably never listen to 99% of the stuff you review, but i read it anyways because you are one of the best metal writers here. make this man a contrib!

Made my day dude, really appreciate the compliment.


Great review, boring as fuck band.

Yeah a lot of people really dislike these guys, I've enjoyed them for a while now but their sound is slowly becoming stale.

Zoo
November 7th 2009


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this was quite yawn inducing and their worst record to date

ZeroTolerance
November 7th 2009


435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish they used more black metal vocals tbh

dandezebra
November 7th 2009


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was really hoping that the drumming was going to be better with kai on the kit.......but, it doesn't seem too different to me.

great review!

Wizard
November 7th 2009


19406 Comments


Yeah a lot of people really dislike these guys, I've enjoyed them for a while now but their sound is slowly becoming stale.

I shouldn't be so hasty sometimes. I do enjoy a few tracks from Hope and The Morning Never Came.

BallsToTheWall
November 7th 2009


44375 Comments


The Mornign Never Came wasnt too bad. I hated Hope, and the particular song I thought I would like on here didnt strike a note.

Nikkolae
November 7th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

balls wins for his avatar lol

dandezebra
November 7th 2009


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i agree, they haven't made a new sounding album.

i am still waiting for the 'new' swallow the sun.

jingledeath
November 7th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This was a bit of a disappointment but the title track is pretty sweet.

Willie
Moderator
November 7th 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Good review. These guys have the occasional good song, but I haven't heard this yet.

Could you change the release date to November 10? As far as I know this wasn't released anywhere on the 1st.

Digging: Necropoli - I

Motiv3
November 7th 2009


8932 Comments


good review once again crysis.

Digging: Punch - They Don?t Have To Believe

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2009


17920 Comments


why in god's name would you name an album new moon in this day and age



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