A Swarm of the Sun
The Woods


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (57 Reviews)
January 30th, 2019 | 41 replies


Release Date: 01/11/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lost to darkness, lost to Nature.

I traverse The Woods like a child in the middle of the night, stumbling down the hallway in dire need of a glass of water. The fourth effort conceived by Erik Nilsson and Jakob Berglund feels like a daydream experience, but also as something that manages to keep you awake, so you can sense its elegiac darkness closing in. It's not a feeling I would describe as fear. Instead, the vast scenery that the music evokes delights in the solace of finding yourself in the womb of Mother Nature, untouched, eternal, and for all that matters, nowhere to be found.

A Swarm of The Sun have always drawn heavily from post rock. Their formula though has always bolstered additional elements like vocals and heavier passages that somehow pulled them apart from the great stream of anodyne, one-note drone bands, that so often love to self-indulge in their craft. The young ferocity of their debut, Zenith, and the unpredictability of their well-acclaimed sophomore album, The Rifts, are still present on A Swarm of The Sun's latest release, but they have been subdued, evolved, and in the best sense of the word, aged. Even if The Woods rummages in a very crowded pool, it does so with undeniable prowess.

The latest proposal of the band is very simple: three tracks, thirteen minute each, and all of them woven with petrifying melodies that feed on subtle build-ups until discharging bombastic finales. It's arguably a gulp of pocket-post rock, but it's distilled and condensed specifically to leave a luscious aftertaste.

The doleful piano that introduces "Blackout" instantly conveys that feeling of repose and timelessness that breathes from the landscape summoned in The Woods. Soon enhanced by a mourning cello and a ritual tom, the song goes on as strings rain gently, creating an imposing moment of peace. A Swarm of the Sun seem to aim for a larger scope here, and thus every section is stretched out and thoroughly explored before being ultimately unleashed into the unknown.

Jakob Berglund's vocals don't appear until the self-titled track, positioned in the middle, crooning in his particularly frostbitten style accompanied by some forlorn chorus. It's in this track where the band recalls their old sound, towards the middle, making use of a steady drumbeat to patiently sculpt a tower of sounds. Layer after layer, the song grows to an unfathomable height, only to be blown up in a conclusive ecstasy.

The bleak landscape formed by monolithic trees used in the promotion video for "An Heir to the Throne”, the third and closing track, is a fitting radiography of the album's soul. Berglund's vocals open this titanic tune once again with a woeful vocal line, while a fainting battle drum marks the pace with solemnity. In its equinox, the song finally breaches, allowing the everlasting guitars, drenched in delay and reverb, to continue their resolute pilgrimage towards the inexorable storm that marks the end of the album.

A Swarm of the Sun have taken their sound to a next level. It may be not the direction that suits part of their audience but it’s, undoubtedly, a fine piece of art. The Woods is an album designed to lose yourself in, a sensory journey that you will eventually long for, and the most logical step for a band that is now more than ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the tallest bodies of the genre.



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3.6
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A quickie. I was surprised this didn't have a review yet. Post rock of the good kind, my dears.



Criticism always welcome.



Jam it here, and bring a pillow: https://aswarmofthesun.bandcamp.com/

Digging: Kayo Dot - Blasphemy

Scheumke
January 30th 2019


1109 Comments


Once again very well written Dewi! Already have it on my 'to listen' list, so will jam soon.

Digging: Moron Police - Boat on the Sea

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, another cool one for one of your long drives.

Papa Universe
January 30th 2019


22410 Comments


a swarm of the POS
not sure I want to listen to overlong esoteric post-rock

DungeonBoy
January 30th 2019


6586 Comments


Nice review dude, this sounds right up my alley

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uni normally I would say you'll hate this with a passion but I am not quite sure with this one.



You will love this, Dungeon.



Tx for the pos's milords.



BallsToTheWall
January 30th 2019


49738 Comments


Good work man. Need to hear.

Digging: Fuming Mouth - The Grand Descent

BallsToTheWall
January 30th 2019


49738 Comments


Good work man. Need to hear.

DungeonBoy
January 30th 2019


6586 Comments


[3]

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2019


4847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. I have to check their previous ones as well. Wasn't aware of these guys until this came out.

Digging: Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Goddamn, the site is taking the plunge now.



Thanks everyone. Insomniac, definitely check The Rifts, it might be my favorite.

TwigTW
January 31st 2019


3818 Comments


listening now, this sounds great

Digging: David Bowie - Station to Station

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2019


10185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

On a roll with these reviews, hard to believe you only had 29 not too long ago.

BallsToTheWall
January 31st 2019


49738 Comments


The Rifts is majestic. Gonna find this.

teamster
February 1st 2019


4339 Comments


This is about as extreme doom as I get. Looking forward to hearing this and the write up verified that Dewinged. Excellent review and thanks.

Digging: This Gift Is A Curse - A Throne of Ash

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man, happy we are back up and running. @Balls, this is more laid back than The Rifts but still has its moments of majesty.



@Noct Just trying to keep up with smth like 1 a week since I'm not too busy right now but let's see for how long!



And thanks Twig & teamster!

Divaman
February 1st 2019


4115 Comments


Well alrighty then. Glad I wasn't too late to this party. Pos.

Digging: Batushka - HOSPODI

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're right on time for some fine post-rock Diva, tx!

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2019


7998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I read this review and then searched and listened to 2 songs by Swallow The Sun and was truly so fucking confused lol

Listening to the real thing now

Digging: Blood Cultures - Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lmao!



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