Total Time: 52:31
Label: Century Media
After the triple “Songs from The North I, II, III” album in 2015, which lasted for about 170 minutes and in which the Finnish Death / Doom Metallers literally poured all of their emotions, they decided it was time for their new album, and they now released “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light”. Unfortunately, in the interim, and more specifically in 2016, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, Juha Raivio, lost his partner in life, Aleah from cancer. We can imagine (and the truth is that it is understood from the lyrics) that this unfortunate event has played a decisive role in the sadness, which is soaked in the music and lyrics of this record.
The latest album by SWALLOW THE SUN, is probably the darkest album of 2019. This is expected, if one thinks that the vehicle for this album was Juha’s lost love and even more expected if we think that sadness is one of the strongest emotions ( “Though the river of death, I carry you my love”). But here, no one encounters endless vanity and endless sadness only, nor hatred for everything, but the listener can understand there is a light at the end of the tunnel (“And the light will pour in!”).
The production and its execution are excellent and create the feeling that one would like to hear. Clear vocals are perfectly matched with the most brutal vocals. The listener is called to close his eyes and move from the world of light to that of darkness, ready to live in an amalgam of melancholy and optimism (albeit slightly rarer on the record). Anyone who listens to “When A Shadow …” will feel a monotony that will excite him and make him never want to stop pressing repeat. It will hear uplifting, catchy tunes, even a super mainstream track record (Firelights), but also sad orchestrations that carry you through other eras, he will dream, he will listen to French poetry.
“When A Shadow …” is an exosomatic experience that, without having any highlights, and without letting go in the least of the doom / death identity of the band, introduces some ambience, folk elements expands their sound, creates a terrific concept. It sure is one of the best releases this year has offered us. Do not be afraid to embrace it and get lost in its world (or rather in its two worlds).
“Under the dark rain clouds, through your ocean of pain, the sun will break again, and you will see another day…”
Related Link: SWALLOW THE SUN – Official Page