Swallow the sun: Ghosts of loss
Swallow the sun - Ghosts of loss - [Firebox Records]


"Swallow the sun" took me be surprise, my first hunch (after just hearing their name somewhere) was that they are probably a "core" act just like other artists with a similar name molds (i.e. Buried Inside, Bleeding Through)- 'Boy, was I surprised when I first heard their music.

This is their second album, after a very successful demo and debut in 2003 which caught the attention of many Doom metal listeners and that of the press.

"The Giant" opens this album with a mellow, repetitive, guitar part along with a second ebow-ish background guitar- both serving as an escort to Mikko Kotamäki's clean vocals.
It doesn’t take long before his voice changes into a deep growl followed by a more death metal like scream- the heavy parts in this song really strike me as being very similar to the simplistic riffs of November's Doom; another cast towards November's Doom is found in "Ghost Of Laura Palmer".
"Psychopath's Lair" shows even more sides of Kotamäki's voice- whispering, growling as if he was Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) and has the best drumwork out of the tracks.
Another track that's worth mentioning is "Forgive Her" (which was also released as a single that featured a cover to "Solitude" by Candlemass) – this song is just what doom is about, so tormented and sloooooow, yet interesting enough to keep me awake.

Some sort of an accent is found in the clean voices on "Fragile", with its Katatonia-like guitar riffs and fresh, effected, keyboards as well as a dominant piano line.
The diversity doesn't stop there; "Gloom, Beauty and Despair" is sort of an epic, starting slow with a whispered throaty voice and a suspense building instrument arrangement, this slides into a heavier part and along with the ever so deep growls – this turns into my favorite track out of this album, ending with ghostly keyboards.
To close this album, we have "The Ship", which more or less follows it's predecessor's tone.

Swallow the sun's music can easily be compared to Anathema , Paradise Lost and even Katatonia - the bottom line is that they seem to have found the balance between the heavy, distorted, aggressive part and the soft mellow touch.

Ofer Vayner

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