Review Summary: Blacklight Deliverance sees Tuomas Saukkonen offer more of the same once more; thankfully the man has a penchant for composing well-flowing and melodic doom/death metal
The Finns could easily present us a new metal sub-genre and call it Saukkonen metal just for the hell of it. The Finnish workhorse admittedly got locked in the studio, again, and boom, a mere eight months after his main band Before The Dawn released its sixth studio album, here’s Saukkonen with his solo project’s third full-length in three years. Unsurprisingly, not much has changed compared to last time, but drastic change is not something Saukkonen strives for in any scenario. The album is once again filled with tasteful melodic doom/death songs that rely on the semi-cold atmosphere Saukkonen is a master of creating; the only new feature that Saukkonen has added are the female vocals, which do not directly supplement nor harm the sound, meaning it’s basically left untouched. This time Saukkonen has kept it brief. As opposed to the 14-track, double-disc Routa of last year, Blacklight Deliverance features only seven songs that in total clock in around the 40 minute mark. This works to Saukkonen’s advantage, as one of the main qualms I, as well as many others had with Routa, was its length, as the album started to drag if not earlier, then at least midway into the second disc. Blacklight Deliverance’s concise style prevents that from happening though and keeps things smooth and free-flowing.
The album’s strength lies in its compact nature. Nothing is overpowered, overdone, redundant or even immediately ear-or-eye-catching, yet the package sounds solid. Blacklight Deliverance is incredibly smooth-flowing, getting the job done admirably, all the while not actually exhibiting any true highlights. There are a few standout guitar parts throughout the album (for example the chord-based outros to "Solitude" and "Wasteland" which kick in when there’s about a minute to go in the songs) but their tranquil nature keeps them firmly in the overall context, and while the keyboards, whenever they come more strongly into play, are ever-pleasant on this album, they operate in the confines of the general sound like everything else. Blacklight Deliverance is not a bewildering album thanks to it, nothing's particularly innovative here and it all sounds very familiar, but luckily it’s a warm, pleasant kind of familiar feeling that Blacklight Deliverance invokes; it features that special spark you wish for when you buy a new melodic metal album, something that conjures a smile on your face and keeps you coming back for more. Blacklight Deliverance doesn't exactly excite you, but it does make you feel comfortable, happy even, despite its melancholic vibe. It’s like watching the snow melt away after a long, cold and dark winter – it is not particularly interesting to watch it turn into water, but the silent satisfaction it gives you is worth many a exciting moment. And that’s all there is to it to Blacklight Deliverance. By definition, it's a simple, lovable album: a well-constructed piece of delightfully melodic doom/death that isn’t flashy, but instead is welcoming and sure to pull you in with its melancholic atmosphere and smooth instrumentation. Tuomas Saukkonen and his trademark melodic, somewhat despondent doom/death sound awaits you once more; seeing as how well that sound fits this time of the year, Blacklight Deliverance is well worth acquiring.
It's pretty standard fare melodic doom/death, similar to bands like Swallow The Sun and Hanging Garden, but composed nicely and it flows very well. I think you'd like this band, at least to a degree.
Thanks for the kind words man and I'll try and be a little more active around the site again. I need to make my return to good convos and threads haha.
Thanks dude, it's very much appreciated. Also, I'm sorry if I came across as a jackass the other day, like Crysis said, I was on heavy meds so that's why I was a bit cranky and out of sorts ;)
Well now you know, I hope you like the new record.
just finished listening to it, still is one of the few bands that impress me even being very generic, i wouldnt say they sound like swallow the sun, bsa doesnt sound is much more melodeath, besides that it was just the way you sayd in the review, great album and pos
Like mentioned in the review, Saukkonen probably got stuck in the studio again and thought what the hell, I'll just compose another album haha. The man sure is efficient in pumping out records and yes, it's another very solid, if totally predictable record by him
Hi Marko! Haven't seen you around in quite a bit Marko! I hope you'll be around more again, Marko! Always good to see you man.
Yeah Saukkonen is pretty consistent in his output when it comes to style. Black Sun Aeon's records are all rather similar. Also, check out his other side project Dawn of Solace too, if you liked this. Saukkonen released only one album under that moniker, The Darkness, and it's quite awesome. Like Shuyin said, it's darker and features more acoustic parts, while still displaying that melodic doom/death sound Saukkonen is known for.
Dawn of Solace is indeed great but I'm pretty sure The Darkness will remain as the only album released under it, as Saukkonen has clearly moved on.