Review Summary: Take “Morningrise” Opeth, pour a cup of Doom, listen repeatedly, enjoy.
I'm just gonna come out and say it, New Moon was great, the aggressive/depressive atmosphere, the song writing, the arrangements, the vocals, the artwork alone was impressive!, in my books, its pretty much one of the best contemporary Doom metal albums, so when I realized that Swallow the Sun was putting out a new record I was intrigued to say the least, and they failed to disappoint.
So what is different? what is it that makes this album so good, it's a collection of things really, which can be summed up in one swift word, “Direction”, while I loved New Moon it lacked a certain something, a sense of focus, not that the music itself was bad, far from it, it just needed to stay in check sometimes, instead of going all out on aggressiveness and try to trash everything in its passionate and despair filled rage the should of tried to hit home with every shout and poisonous word, this in turn would end up making it both substantially more somber and uncomfortable to listen than as it already was, and its at this point where Swallow the Sun put on their thinking caps and realized such thing, intentionally trying to proverbially pummel your soul into a soft mushy substance when pissed off, waving their anger as a two edge sword that cuts them as much as the object of their hatred and retrieving to soft introspection after the anger has been subdued.
Even more so, they have taken everything that made New Moon so unearthly sad and expanded on it, but they also managed to keep it accessible, maintaining an aural assault on the ears when the occasion calls for it and then subsiding to a far more organic sound, thus providing an expansive and calming sound, juxtaposed by the dichotomy that characterizes them and creating an atmosphere that lets you see sunlight at the end of the tunnel, but for how long?, its completely up to them, and they wont let you go that easily.
Hate, Lead The Way
Labyrinth of London (Horror pt. IV)