Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Swallow The Sun - "Songs From The North I, II, III" (Album Review)

By: Dan C.

Album Type: Full Length (Triple)
Date Released: 13/11/2015
Label: Century Media Records


There’s a mix of styles throughout this first epic piece as it will blend in some acoustic folk on up to more or less funeral doom arrangements.  The second album is much more refined and clean which leans strongly towards a folk approach.  The third album comes back to more doom laden tracks. This 3rd piece is even heavier than the first. I think of the band Kongh when Swallow the Sun hit some pivotal doom moments here.  Songs from the North is some serious shit. Now go turn this stellar masterpiece all the way up and break out the whiskey and hash.

“Songs From the North I, II, III CD//DD//LP track listing:

Disc 1

1. With You Came the Whole of the World's Tears
2. 10 Silver Bullets
3. Rooms and Shadows
4. Heartstrings Shattering
5. Silhouettes 6. The Memory of Light
7. Lost & Catatonic
8. From Happiness to Dust

Disc 2

1. The Womb of Winter
2. The Heart of a Cold White Land
3. Away
4. Pray for the Winds to Come
5. Songs from the North
6. 66,50´N,28,40´E
7. Autumn Fire
8. Before the Summer Dies

Disc 3

1. The Gathering of Black Moths
2. 7 Hours Late
3. Empires of Loneliness
4. Abandoned by the Light
5. The Clouds Prepare for Battle

Swallow the Sun is:

Juha Raivio | guitar
Markus Jämsen | guitar
Mikko Kotamäki | vocals
Matti Honkonen | bass
Aleksi Munter | keys
Juuso Raatikainen | drums

The Review:

Finish group, Swallow the Sun, take a big leap of faith with their latest release, “Songs from the North I, II & III,” which takes the word “fucking epic” to a new level. This is a TRIPLE album in case you didn’t follow the number sequence there within the album title. Swallow the Sun blend so many different variations of sound within this entire series of albums that it’s hard to pin down on what style of music to call it. There’s cathedral/organ sounding keys at times mixed with regular piano sounds, guitars that go from distorted to ambient delayed harmonies, vocal ranges that go from dark guttural Neanderthal grunts to clean and polished and finally the drums that are pretty slow and fluid throughout.

The first album leans towards darker elements and with swooping guitars that doom out with lots of echo on the vocals. There’s a mix of styles throughout this first epic piece as it will blend in some acoustic folk on up to more or less funeral doom arrangements.  

The second album is much more refined and clean which leans strongly towards a folk approach. You will not hear any distorted guitars on this 2nd piece so either broaden your mind or skip on to the third album. There are ambient textures within the flow of keys and acoustic guitars along with harmonies that embellish strange mystical moody stuff that will make you sleepy if you smoke too much herb. It’s pretty ballsy of these guys to break out into such delicate tunes sandwiched in between two heavy doom albums.

The third album comes back to more doom laden tracks. This 3rd piece is even heavier than the first. I think of the band Kongh when Swallow the Sun hit some pivotal doom moments here. The keys are still strong in this third album but the guitars are more dominant than anything else. Lots of guttural vocals closing out the album with a black metal vocal approach. 

This is an album I see myself drinking to while chaos ensues around the city, with my power cut off, so I’m catering to candles everywhere, I lost my dog, my girlfriend and my heroin and there’s no chance I’ll be able to catch the next episode of Hell’s Kitchen on the telly. So there you go. Songs from the North is some serious shit. Now go turn this stellar masterpiece all the way up and break out the whiskey and hash.  

“Songs from the North I, II, III” is available here


FFO: Novembers Doom, Katatonia, Ghost Brigade, My Dying Bride


Band info: official 

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