Swallowed
Lunarterial


3.5
great

Review

by Jacquibim STAFF
October 30th, 2014 | 187 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A flawed though highly entertaining debut that hints at far greater things to come

Ask anyone with even the vaguest interest in the genre and they’ll tell you that no one does death metal quite like the Finns. Though it has no concrete sound – ranging anywhere from the schizophrenic Demilich to the earth-shattering stylings of Rippikoulu – Finnish death metal has always given off an intangible aura that is seldom found elsewhere on the globe. Most are hard pressed to describe it as, contrary to what some may tell you, there is no such thing as a prototypical Finndeath album, the only certainty being that the music’s mystique is always apparent to the ear, even if it’s impossible to put into words. Swallowed’s debut Lunarterial, like all great Finndeath albums, is an entity of its own with no spiritual ancestors, yet it still possesses that esotericism that only the Finns can pull off authentically.

Swallowed endorse the hazier side of death metal, utilising instrumentation in a way that completely overwhelms the listener instead of engaging them in any immediate sense. Riff patterns prefer to slither in and among themselves rather than follow each other in a linear succession, while the screeching solos are used as a means of accentuating the album’s clusterfuckery as opposed to showcasing the guitarists’ proficiency. Ville Kojonen steals the show by doubling as both the drummer and the vocalist, giving off an improvisational vibe in the rhythmic department while delivering a series of tortured mutterings. The maddening walls of sound that Swallowed create are appropriately interspersed with oozing doom sections vaguely reminiscent of Corrupted, offering aural respite without sacrificing the despair-laden atmosphere.

Over the course of the album, everything congeals together into an opaque maelstrom, culminating in a listen that is sonically devastating, albeit lacking in direction at times. In essence, Lunarterial is an exercise in atmosphere over song-writing, with the album’s malleability used as a mechanism to further disorient the listener. Tracks such as “Reverence Through Darkness” and “Black Aura” use this demented concoction to great effect, both gradually dialling in more and more energy until everything around you collapses into an ocean of musical entropy. However, the twenty-five minute closer “Liberations” seems to overreach in its attempt to petrify you, ultimately lacking enough substance to maintain a convincingly sinister mood throughout its hefty duration. With the track taking up nearly half the album, Lunarterial ends on an irritatingly anti-climactic note, but not so severely that is renders the entire experience hollow.

Irrespective of the odd blip here and there, you have to admire the enthusiasm with which Swallowed approached such a perilous style of music. Blurring the lines between organised chaos and jam-like spontaneity runs the risk of coming across as a gimmick – a platitude that Swallowed have avoided with ease. However, while their artistic vision is apparent, their ambition still marginally outweighs their ability to execute it properly. Lunarterial is a flawed though highly entertaining debut that hints at far greater things to come, watch this space.



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user ratings (73)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
emester
October 30th 2014


8271 Comments


record rules.

emester
October 30th 2014


8271 Comments


Im not even joking first time I heard this, I felt like I was being strangled by sound

emester
October 30th 2014


8271 Comments


band doesnt lie about their name

emester
October 30th 2014


8271 Comments


But yeah Dark Descent has been really on point this year. Trenchrot, this and the new Horrendous were all quality stuff

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2014


13082 Comments


#shitjaclistensto

Requesting a quiet feature please.

Great album, kinda need to spin it a few more times though.

adr
October 30th 2014


12097 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

imaginary pos.



a good effort from these guys, but didn't like it THAT much like everybody else, unfortunately.

tempest--
October 30th 2014


20634 Comments


Dark Descent rule but they take fuckin ages to ship stuff to me

Wizard
October 30th 2014


20314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Totally agree 100% with the review (wow, we agree Jac!!!).



Lunarterial is an exercise in atmosphere over song-writing,



These were my exact thoughts too!





SpiritCrusher2
October 30th 2014


6281 Comments


"But yeah Dark Descent has been really on point this year. Trenchrot, this and the new Horrendous were all quality stuff"

Trenchrot is on Unspeakable Axe, but yea, Dark Descent fucking owns! this, Horrendous, Corpsessed, Emptiness, Lvcifyre, and some gems from the last year like Craven Idol, Krypts, Imprecation, Lantern, Vorum etc., they're killing it

Wizard
October 30th 2014


20314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Next to Profound Lore Records, Dark Descent is awesome.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2014


11798 Comments


great review Jac, need some more dm so I might check

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2014


11798 Comments


sweet album art too

emester
October 30th 2014


8271 Comments


"Dark Descent rule but they take fuckin ages to ship stuff to me"

Really? I got some distro items from them to me in only a couple of days :/"


osmark86
October 30th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

solid review Jac.

Rhyme
October 30th 2014


1405 Comments


heard good things about this gonna check

nice review

Jots
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2014


7311 Comments


nice review Jac. I'm pretty much oblivious to death metal, so the first paragraph was informative. I'll admit, I was under the impression that there was such a thing as stereotypical Finnish dm :/

rest of the review definitely made me want to check it out, especially the 'improvisational drumming' bit.

osmark86
October 30th 2014


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah it almost sounds like a band that can't play their instruments at times, but then again, you know they can.

RivalSkoomaDealer
October 30th 2014


1634 Comments


Awesome review. Can't wait to hear this now.

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - The Helm Of Sorrow

RivalSkoomaDealer
October 30th 2014


1634 Comments


Love the album art on this too.

climactic
October 30th 2014


22533 Comments


heard some of this in plug, sounded killer, needa cheque, good review etc



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