Swallow the Sun Post “Lumina Aurea” Video; EP out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

swallow the sun

There’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, while Finland’s Swallow the Sun have always ranged far and wide throughout their career — their last album, 2015’s Songs from the North I, II and III (review here), was a purposefully-overwhelming triple album comprised of acoustic, extreme and a-little-bit-of-both installments — their new EP, Lumina Aurea, which arrives through Century Media just ahead of the full-length, When a Shadow is Forced into the Light, is still a departure. Its vocals arrive in Latin-language spoken word plus some backing black metal-style screams and a chorus — Marco I. Benevento of The Foreshadowing provides the spoken parts — and the song itself is a 13-minute stretch of atmospheric intensity that’s different from anything the Jyväskylä outfit have done in the past. Wardruna‘s Einar Selvik guests on bukkelhorn, adding particularly Scandinavian flair, and the whole affair sounds way more Roadburn than Wacken, if you know what I mean.

It’s a fascinating turn for Swallow the Sun to make as they stand on the cusp of 20 years as a band. If I could sing and scream like Mikko Kotamäki, I’m not sure I’d ever let anyone else singswallow the sun lumina aurea on a record, ever, even background vocals, but he relinquishes the forward position to Benevento and recedes into the mix in best service to “Lumina Aurea” itself, and the ambience that unfolds is every bit as cinematic as the accompanying video shows it to be. I’ve heard the upcoming LP, and as always, it has its sense of atmosphere, but if you’re wondering why Swallow the Sun would release it on its own concurrent to the album, all you really have to do for an answer is listen to the two side-by-side. “Lumina Aurea” is distinct enough to earn its place as an EP separate from the album, and the album’s tracks flow well without 13-minutes of Viking ambience tacked onto the end of them (or the beginning!) because there’d really be no place else to put it. As much defiance of expectation as Swallow the Sun have done over their time, they’ve always kept to a consistency of mood in their releases — generally dark — and Lumina Aurea holds to that as well, but is clearly doing so on its own terms.

The EP is comprised of the full and instrumental versions of the track and is out now. When a Shadow is Forced into the Light is due Jan. 25. The video for “Lumina Aurea” was directed by Aapo Lahtela and Vesa Ranta at Kaira Films, and you can see the full credits as well as other info from the PR wire under the clip below.

Please enjoy:

Swallow the Sun, “Lumina Aurea” official video

SWALLOW THE SUN – Lumina Aurea (OFFICIAL VIDEO). Taken from the EP “Lumina Aurea”, out December 21st, 2018. Order now: https://swallowthesun.lnk.to/LuminaAureaID

Finnish melancholy death-doom metal masters Swallow The Sun have released their epic standalone 14 minute track called “Lumina Aurea”. The song features Wardruna’s Einar Selvik and The Forshadowing’s Marco I. Benevento and marks the band’s darkest and most sinister piece of music they have ever released. Watch the music video for “Lumina Aurea”, which was created by Aapo Lahtela and Vesa Ranta at Kaira Films, HERE.

“‘Lumina Aurea’ is a song I would never want to write in my life,” Juha Raivio states about the track. “It is an open, bleeding black wound from the last two and half years of my life. But I had to write it out. I could not back down from it. The way I wrote and recorded ‘Lumina Aurea’ was so rough emotionally and physically that I think I will never talk about it public. I know this road will go on forever as a part of me, but I have also made a peace with it-that I will never have peace with it. And that the life and the journey here must still go on for a while for those of us remaining. I knew that if I would go any deeper on that road with the album as I did with ‘Lumina Aurea,’ the path would not end well. So, I quickly realized that instead I will write an album that will manifest loud and clear that after all, ‘Love is always stronger than death.’ I wanted to find that angle for ‘When A Shadow Is Forced into the Light’. This album is like a weapon for myself. A burning light, a burning torch. Victorious and proud.”

Directed and produced by Aapo Lahtela & Vesa Ranta.

Swallow the Sun:
Mikko Kotamäki: vox
Matti Honkonen: bass
Juuso Raatikainen: drums
Juho Räihä: gtr
Juha Raivio: gtr/keys/jouhikko
Jaani Peuhu: keys

Music & Lyrics: Juha Raivio
Mixed by: Linus Corneliusson / Fascination Street Studios Mastered by: Tony Lindgren / Fascination Street Studios Screams and Growls recorded at Black Chandelier, Helsinki Guitars and bass recorded at SoundSpiral Audio by Juho Räihä

Latin translation by Claudia Greco

Guest Musicians:
Bukkehorn by Einar Selvik
Latin spoken parts by: Marco I. Benevento
Latin choir by: Marco I. Benevento & The Foreshadowing

“Mors fortior quam vita est, amor fortior quam mors est”

Swallow The Sun Upcoming Tour Dates:
February 7 – Helsinki, Finland – Nosturi
February 8 – Turku, Finland – Apollo
February 9 – Jyvaskyla, Finland – Lutakko*
February 14 – Tampere, Finland – Klubi*
February 15 – Oulu, Finland – Teatria*
February 16 – Kuopio, Finland – Henry’s Pub*
*w/THE MAN-EATING TREE

More dates to be announced soon!

Swallow the Sun website

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Swallow the Sun on Twitter

Century Media website

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Swallow the Sun Set Jan. 25 Release for When a Shadow is Forced into the Light

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

swallow the sun

Finnish death-doomers Swallow the Sun will release a new 14-minute single next month featuring guest appearances from Einar Selvik of Wardruna and The Foreshadowing‘s Marco I. Benevento, so presumably I’ll be posting about them again shortly, but the news that their next full-length, When a Shadow is Forced into the Light, is due out Jan. 25 is particularly welcome. Their last album was early 2016’s multifaceted triple-disc Songs from the North (review here), for which they toured in the States alongside Amorphis — best lineup, why didn’t I go? Oh right, I suck — and while the PR wire promises more of the standard heft-laden downerism, the fact that the album’s title, again, When a Shadow is Forced into the Light, is essentially the opposite of the band’s moniker in terms of the image evoked, says to me maybe some subtle shifts are in store around that central consistency.

I’ll look forward to finding out, either way. Here’s news from the PR wire:

swallow the sun covers

SWALLOW THE SUN ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM WHEN A SHADOW IS FORCED INTO THE LIGHT

Finnish melancholy death-doom metal masters Swallow The Sun announces the release of their new album When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light, which is scheduled for release on January 25th, 2019 via Century Media Records.

The band will be releasing their standalone 14 minute epic single track “Lumina Aurea” on December 21st. The track will be available both digitally and as 12″ EP vinyl version.

Fueled by personal loss (the album title has its origins in Trees of Eternity’s “Broken Mirror”) and powered by the will to continue, When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light showcases the group’s ability to maintain its signature sound while expanding upon horizons and diving deeper into the crevasse of doom-death metal. Even though the single and the album are conceptually connected, they are musically completely different. While “Lumina Aurea”, which features Wardruna’s Einar Selvik and The Foreshadowing’s Marco I. Benevento, marks the band’s darkest and most sinister piece of music the band has ever released, When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light follows a more positive approach and continues in the vein of previous albums – first-rate death-doom in the typical style of Swallow The Sun.

Swallow The Sun have announced their first shows of 2019. See below for all upcoming tour dates. More dates to be announced soon.

When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light tracklisting:
1. When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light
2. The Crimson Crown
3. Firelights
4. Upon The Water
5. Stone Wings
6. Clouds On Your Side
7. Here On The Black Earth
8. Never Left

“Lumina Aurea” tracklisting:
1. Lumina Aurea
2. Lumina Aurea (instrumental version)

Swallow The Sun Upcoming Tour Dates:
February 7 – Helsinki, Finland – Nosturi
February 8 – Turku, Finland – Apollo
February 9 – Jyvaskyla, Finland – Lutakko*
February 14 – Tampere, Finland – Klubi*
February 15 – Oulu, Finland – Teatria*
February 16 – Kuopio, Finland – Henry’s Pub*
*w/THE MAN-EATING TREE

http://www.swallowthesun.net
https://www.facebook.com/swallowthesun
https://twitter.com/swallowthesunfi
http://www.centurymedia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/centurymedia

Swallow the Sun, “Rooms and Shadows” official video

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Quarterly Review: Beastmaker, Low Flying Hawks, CHVE, Brujas del Sol, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, The Shooters, Boss Keloid, Hors Sujet, Warchief, Seedship

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review spring 2016

It seems like a day doesn’t go by that I don’t find something in one of these piles (metaphorical, sometimes literal) of records that keeps me coming back. Today is once again spread across a pretty wide stylistic swath, and that’s by design to keep my brain from going numb, but if there’s a unifying theme across all of it, let it be a sense of scope and bands and artists who are trying to take what’s been done before and push it forward or in some new direction. That’s not universal — nothing is — but today might be the most adventurous of the days included this quarter, so I hope you’ll keep open ears and an open mind as you make your way though.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Beastmaker, Lusus Naturae

beastmaker lusus naturae

Expectations are high for Fresno trio Beastmaker in no small part because their first album, Lusus Naturae, arrives through Rise Above Records. Whether they’ll take their place among the venerable UK imprint’s genre-shapers of the last half-decade, Uncle Acid, Ghost, etc., remains to be seen, but there can be little question Lusus Naturae lives up to the standard of offering something individual even as it plays off familiar conceptions. Beastmaker’s doom is classic without sounding like much of anything else, and as they unfold “Arachne” and catchy pieces like “Mask of Satan” and “You Must Sin,” they arrive aesthetically cohesive and demonstrating accomplished songwriting finding a space of its own surrounding Sabbathian and Cathedral-driven ideals with semi-psych, semi-cultish tendencies, not wanting to be put in one place or the other but successfully engaging a melting pot of modern doom in “Burnt Offering” and the plodding “It.” Whatever the wider response winds up being, Lusus Naturae will without a doubt stand as one of 2016’s best debuts.

Beastmaker on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records

 

Low Flying Hawks, Kofuku

low flying hawks kofuku

If you’re hand-picking dream rhythm sections, getting Trevor Dunn to play bass while Dale Crover drums would probably be the picks of any number of players, but initials-only core duo EHA and AAL of Los Angeles’ Low Flying Hawks actually went out and got the Mr. Bungle and Melvins personnel to play on their Toshi Kasai-produced Magnetic Eye Records debut LP, Kofuku. Aside from keeping good company, the album’s 10 tracks/53 minutes are marked by a spaciousness that not even the tonal heft of early cut “Now, Apocalypse” seems to fill as EHA and AAL balance post-rock, doomed lurch and darker psychedelics with blackened screams and fervent rhythmic push – see “White Temple” and “Wolves Within Wolves.” They round out with the lumbering 11-minute “Destruction Complete,” a heavy rock march topped by airborne, dissonant leads that keeps its head even as it plods onward into oblivion. Not as unipolar as it might first appear in terms of sound, but the mood of Kofuku points consistently downward.

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Magnetic Eye Records

 

CHVE, Rasa

chve rasa

The crux of CHVE’s Rasa is in resonance. Amenra frontman Colin H. van Eeckhout (his solo-project’s name derived from his initials) constructs a flowing half-hour of fluid drone, intermittent percussion – first tribal, then a straightforward kind of march, slow but not still – and atmospheric vocal on the single track that comprises the work, seeming to take influence from calls to prayer as much as atmospheric noise. At higher volumes, the piece is consuming, his voice surrounds with the almost constant wash of tone, but even at more reasonable levels, the sense of purpose and ritual remains. Of course, Amenra are noted for the use of the word “mass” in their album titles, and while Rasa departs from the direct tonal heft of much of what van Eeckhout does in his main outfit, there is a sense of mass here in terms both of presence and in terms of the worship being enacted.

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Consouling Sounds

 

Brujas del Sol, Starquake

brujas del sol starquake

How do you fit an 11-minute track onto a 7” release? Easy, you break it in half. Such is the method of Ohio instrumentalists Brujas del Sol, who follow their Moonliner EP trilogy with the late-2015 single Starquake, presented on the limited H42 Records platter as “Starquake Pt. I” and “Starquake Pt. II” but comprising nonetheless a single piece that backs airy, post-rock-tinged guitar with a decided forward rhythmic motion, resulting in an overarching build that, while there’s a natural moment for the split, is hypnotic front to back, a swirl of effects calling it mind space rock improvisation even as the plotted momentum of drums and bass resumes. Starquake is enough to make one imagine what kind of variety and spontaneity Brujas del Sol would bring to a debut full-length, so in that it very much does its job, but it makes a good case for standing on its own as well as it hits its second apex and finishes in a residual wash of cosmic noise.

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H42 Records

 

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Noeth ac Anoeth

mammoth weed wizard bastard noeth ac anoeth

Offered through New Heavy Sounds, Noeth Ac Anoeth is the debut full-length from Welsh cosmic doom four-piece Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. It is comprised of three songs and incorporates the half-hour-long “Nachthexen,” which was also the title-track of the band’s prior 2015 EP (review here), their rumble brought to bear through the capable knob-turning of Conan’s Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio. The vocals of Jessica Ball manage to cut through the ensuing tonal murk of her bass and the guitars of Paul Michael Davies and Wez Leon, and James Carrington’s drums live up to the near-impossible task of making “Les Paradis Artificiels,” “Slave Moon” and “Nachthexen” go, each developing its own plodding momentum amid the purposeful thickness overdose and atmospheric sensibility enhanced both by Davies’ work on keys and Ball’s vocals. “Slave Moon” winds up at a gallop and almost operatic, but there’s no way the highlight wasn’t going to be “Nachthexen,” which offers chug dense enough and spaces wide open enough to easily get lost in. Time well spent, all around.

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New Heavy Sounds

 

The Shooters, Dead Wilderness

the shooters dead wilderness

Spanish heavy rock four-piece The Shooters present their third album, Dead Wilderness (on Red Sun Records/Nooirax Producciones), as two sides even on the CD pressing, each half of the record ending with an extended cut over the 10-minute mark. All told it’s six songs/49 minutes of solidified, mostly straightforward Euro-style riff-led heavy grooves, tapping into some Dozer influence on “War on You” but offering more spacious burl on “Lucifer’s Word,” which starts side B after the push of “Roots” rounds out side A. There’s little by way of letup, but moments like the quiet start and bridge of “Black Mountain” do a lot of work in adding complexity to The Shooters’ hook-minded approach, and 11-minute finale “Candelabrum” builds on that with a patient linear unfolding that casts off some tonal heft in favor of a more atmospheric take. That ultimately lets Dead Wilderness bring an individual edge to established stylistic parameters, from which it greatly benefits.

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The Shooters on Bandcamp

 

Boss Keloid, Herb Your Enthusiasm

boss keloid herb your enthusiasm

Granted, a title playing off Curb Your Enthusiasm and, well, herb, might make you think the band is just goofing around, but UK riffers Boss Keloid offer more substance with their second album, Herb Your Enthusiasm, than they do wackiness. The sound – captured by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio – is positively massive, bolstered by guest appearances from Fielding himself and his Conan bandmate, Jon Davis, who also owns Skyhammer and Black Bow Records, the imprint releasing the LP, and given to swells of largesse and huge rolling grooves that still remain righteously fuzzed, as on “Escapegoat” or “Lung Valley” the quieter complement to opener “Lung Mountain.” Vocalist Alex Hurst assures any quota of burl is met, but has more to his approach melodically than riff-following chestbeating, and guitarist Paul Swarbrick, bassist Adam Swarbrick and drummer Stephen Arands present instrumental flow and turns behind that give the record a sense of personality beyond its weedian play. Not a minor undertaking at an hour long, but satisfying in tone and execution.

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Black Bow Records

 

Hors Sujet, Nous N’y Trouvons que le Doute

hors sujet nous ny trouvons que le doute

I guess it’s fair to call late 2015’s Nous N’y Trouvons que le Doute the debut full-length from Toulouse-based one-man outfit Hors Sujet, though multi-instrumentalist/atmosphere-conjurer Florent Paris has done a variety of soundtrack work and released numerous other textures in EPs and a variety of other offerings, so take that for what it’s worth. More important is the rich sense of ambience Paris brings to Hors Sujet in the seven included songs, from the dystopian doom of “Au Plus Loin, la Mer / L’hiver Peureux” to the wistful drone wash of “Le Souffle, Peu à Peu (Pt. 2),” which has its companion piece earlier in the album. Of special note should be 27-minute closer “Et Maintenant, le Ombres,” acting as a summary of the proceedings as much as expansion thereupon, concluding an often quiet outing with a stark cacophony that gorgeously builds from the minimalism before it to a raucous finish worth of the breadth Paris shows in his work throughout.

Hors Sujet on Thee Facebooks

Hors Sujet on Bandcamp

 

Warchief, Warchief

warchief warchief

Initially released by the band in summer 2015, the self-titled debut from Finnish progressive heavy rockers Warchief sees vinyl issue through Phonosphera Records, its two sides consumed by organic execution across four tracks moving beyond traditional structure in favor of a more varied approach, from the rumbling heft that emerges in opener “Give” through the goes-anywhere near-psychedelia of 21-minute closer “For Heavy Damage.” Warchief, the Jyväskylä-based four-piece of Teemu Pellonpää, Juho Saarikoski, Esa Pirttimäki and Tommi Rintala, feel right at home working in longer-form material, whether it’s that closer or the nine-minute “Life Went On” preceding, and given their breadth I wouldn’t be surprised if they would up with a single-song album sometime in the future. With that in mind, perhaps most encouraging about their self-titled is the fact that it seems so exploratory, very much like the beginning of creative growth rather than a finished product on display. One hopes they continue to flesh out stylistically and build on the foundation they’ve set here.

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Warchief on Bandcamp

 

Seedship, Demo 2015

seedship demo 2015

Riffing their way into the post-Electric Wizard league of rumble purveyors, Minneapolis newcomers Seedship avoid any cultish trappings on last fall’s Demo 2015, their first release. A marked tonal thickness is nearly immediate, but along with the slow-motion nod and overarching density, melodic vocals cut through the morass to give a human aspect to the groove. Of the three tracks, “The Edge of Expiry,” “The Condemned Adrift” and “The Desperate Odyssey,” not a one is under eight minutes long, and as they plod their way through the opener (also the longest track; immediate points), Seedship enact a sci-fi theme that carries through the release as a whole, which scuffs up the approach some in the closer, but always keeps its spacier elements intact, even as it kicks the pace in the ass at around six minutes in and lets loose a release for all the tension built up prior before a final slowdown ends out. They seem to have a lot already worked out sound-wise, so should be interesting to hear where they go with it.

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Talmud Beach, Chief: Forest Blues

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

talmud-beach-chief

[Note: Click play above to hear the premiere of “Mountain Man” by Talmud Beach. Chief is out March 18 on Svart.]

There are several different kinds of blues that pop up throughout Chief, the second full-length and Svart Records debut from Finnish trio Talmud Beach. “Pharmacy Blues” is first, followed later by the somewhat less politically correct “Chinaman Blues” and “Born with the Blues,” but whatever the context, the band’s blues are delivered in ultra-mellow, laid back form. Talmud Beach find pastoral serenity the way most bands find their overdrive pedal. It is a humble nine-track/37-minute listen that is deceptively rich in its overall affect without coming close to overwhelming even in its moments of greatest arrangement depth, as on “Mountain Man” or the extended closing title-track.

Elements of Finnish folk pop up in the sweet acoustic guitar strummed throughout and particularly on centerpiece “Kekkonen,” but even on the more electrified “Forest,” birdsong maintains a connection to the natural world, and that’s an atmosphere that is established on the brief boogie-blues opener “Ain’t So Young” and maintained as the album progresses from front to back, guitarist Aleksi Lukander leading a subdued shuffle as bassist/vocalist Mikko Siltanen unfolds a simple hook that needs nothing more than it presents, drummer Petri Alanko moving the proceedings along at what will become one of the record’s faster clips by the time it’s done. The mood is humble, but not still, and while Talmud Beach — whose name derives from members of the band having been accosted on an Eastern European beach by local anti-Semites — maintain that mood, they also set up a dynamic range sound-wise in which it plays out.

To wit, “Pharmacy Blues” is likewise upbeat, with a classic snare shuffle rhythm and an especially catchy chorus, but “Mountain Man” takes a turn toward a more folkish-style, interweaving layers of guitar as it fluidly moves through a verse and chorus, some light but still quick percussion underlying this peaceful, serene setting. A vocal highlight with Alanko taking the lead role, it’s one of the album’s most memorable impressions, building along a linear course after its second chorus with harmonized singing and an arrangement of increasing complexity until finally, it’s a chorus fading out as birdsong takes over as an interlude before the big chill-out of “Forest.”

talmud-beach

Quieter and based around a creeping blues bassline, “Forest” nonetheless basks in psychedelia in its background guitar work and trippy lyric about journeying into woods and finding — wait for it — mushrooms, leading to a host of visions in nature. Subtle fuzz emerges as “Forest” moves past its midsection, but Talmud Beach hold firm to the spirit of the record they’ve established, ending with a stretch of silence before “Kekkonen” kicks in with arguably Chief‘s most active arrangement, a sax (or sax sounds, if it’s keys) added to play up a humppa feel for the track about former Finnish President Urho Kekkonen, presented in the band’s native language and with a clap-along bounce. Still, if it’s a party, that means the drums are harder hit, the guitar is louder and the hook is vital in whatever language, and Talmud Beach do as well in the environment of “Kekkonen” as they did among the birds in “Forest,” the one-two punch of the tracks demonstrating a decent portion — not all — of the band’s range while keeping the album’s flow duly liquefied.

“Snow Snow Snow” manages to be individual despite a chorus that features the line “let it snow,” which is no minor feat, and plays harmonies off a bluesy verse in a kind of classic call and response, but its most resonant impression is in the layers of acoustic and electric guitar weaving through and the soft, wish-it-was-longer interlude in the track’s midsection before the last verse, chorus and acoustic leadout. It’s just 2:45, but “Snow Snow Snow” makes a fitting companion both for “Forest” and “Mountain Man” and captures a lot of Chief‘s overall mindset. The subsequent “Chinaman Blues” is another turn, the speaker in the song longing for an escape from everyday Finnish life and imagining being Chinese, apparently, as the farthest thing from it. Again, not exactly politically correct in its nomenclature, and almost unfortunately catchy, but its psych-blues blend finds a middle space between “Ain’t So Young” and “Pharmacy Blues” and songs like “Mountain Man,” and it finishes with a heavier push of fuzz guitar, keys and harmonized vocals that seems to payoff much of the album’s momentum while also leading smoothly into “Born with the Blues,” the lyrics of which trade off Finnish and English lines in the verses and choruses while keeping a steady bounce throughout.

That sets up nine-minute closer “Chief,” which uses its extended runtime for a spacious psychedelic sprawl after the ’70s folk chorus, “If you are the chief/Wear the rainbow hat,” keeping an exploratory feel to what’s probably a nonetheless plotted progression, incorporating more sunshine-soaked sounds to bookend with “Forest” and allowing Talmud Beach to play their way off the record on a proggy but still cohesive note, a melodic swirl of vocals and some still-earthbound guitar leading peacefully to silence. Even if the songwriting wasn’t so effective throughout, Chief would likely offer substance based on its atmosphere alone, but the memorable core of these tracks and the calmness with which they’re delivered makes the record belong equally to the ethereal and the terrestrial. Talmud Beach walk that balance throughout with confidence and an approach that doesn’t need to be loud to make itself heard.

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Svart Records

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Swallow the Sun Post “Abandoned by the Light” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

 swallow the sun Photo-by-Jussi-Ratilainen-Photography

Finland’s Swallow the Sun issue their new three-part album, Songs from the North I, II and III, this week via Century Media, and as anticipated, they have a corresponding final installment in their series of lyric videos preceding the record’s arrival. First came “Heartstrings Shattering” (posted here), which basked in the band’s well-honed, emotionally potent death-doom style. Then there was the mostly-acoustic “Pray for the Winds to Come” (review here), which showcased the melodic side of their sound.

The stated concept for the album being to show where the band is sonically and parse the dual light/dark aspects of that sound, then the only thing left to show off is the harsh, extreme deathliness in what they do, and “Abandoned by the Light” certainly hits that mark. It’s worth pointing out that neither it nor “Pray for the Winds to Come” is completely separate from the other — that is, there’s a bit of synth on “Abandoned by the Light” that adds melody even to its grueling nine-minute crawl, and likewise, the acoustic track had its underlying sense of foreboding.

Might seem like a long way to go for Swallow the Sun to prove their versatility, but if you don’t know them as a band willing to go a long way, you’re missing the point.

Euro tour starts Nov. 26. Video and dates follow. Enjoy:

Swallow the Sun, “Abandoned by the Light” lyric video

SWALLOW THE SUN just premiered their new lyric video for the track “Abandoned By The Light.”

The single “Abandoned By The Light” comes from the third album which is said to be the most extreme offering in the triple album series, a complete ride into SWALLOW THE SUN’s most horrific abyss of finely-crafted, conscience-crushing funeral doom.

“Abandoned by the Light is a prime example of how heavy the third album is. It is – like the rest of the album – long, menacing and relentless, with occasional glimmer of something that could be mistaken for hope. Enjoy!” states Aleksi Munter of SWALLOW THE SUN.

Songs from the North I, II & III from SWALLOW THE SUN will be released worldwide on November 13, 2015 and is available for pre-order now at: http://smarturl.it/sftnCMDISTRO

In continued support of the forthcoming release, SWALLOW THE SUN will perform their signature brand of gloom, beauty, and despair live throughout Europe on headlining dates beginning later this month. They will be accompanied by fellow countrymen Wolfheart. Complete list of dates below.

SWALLOW THE SUN live:
11.26. Berlin, K17, DE
11.27. Hamburg, Headcrash, DE
11.28. Rotterdam, Baroeg, NL
11.29. Apeldoorn, TBC, NL
11.30. Paris, Glazart, FR
12.2. Lissabon, RCA Club, PT
12.3 Porto, Hard Club, PT
12.4. Valencia, Rock City, ES
12.5. Barcelona, Apolo 2, ES
12.6. Madrid, Caracol, ES
12.8. Montpellier, Secret Place, FR
12.9. Pratteln, Z7, CH
12.10. Brescia, Circolo Colony, IT
12.11. Ljbubljana, Orto Bar, SL
12.12. Budapest, Dürer Kert, HU
12.13. Kosice, Colosseum Club, SK
12.14. Krakau, Club Rotunda, PL
12.15. Vienna, Viper Room, AT
12.16. Munchen, Backstage, DE
12.17. Weinheim, Café Centraal, DE
12.18. Vosselaar, Biebob, BE
12.19. Bochum, Matrix, DE

SWALLOW THE SUN is:
Juha Raivio – guitar
Markus Jämsen – guitar
Mikko Kotamäki – vocals
Matti Honkonen -bass
Aleksi Munter – keys
Juuso Raatikainen – drums

Swallow the Sun website

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Swallow the Sun on Twitter

Century Media website

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Swallow the Sun Post Lyric Video for “Pray for the Winds to Come”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 19th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

swallow the sun (Photo by Jussi Ratilainen Photography)

Hey, wait a minute! I think I see what’s happening here. I’m onto you savvy marketing types. About two weeks ago, Finnish death-doomers Swallow the Sun unveiled a lyric video for the track “Heartstrings Shattering” (posted here) that came from the first chapter of their upcoming three-part full-plus-length album, Songs from the North I, II and III, which is due out Nov. 13, 2015, via Century Media. Now here we are, edged just a little bit closer to the release date, and there’s a lyric video for “Pray for the Winds to Come,” which is taken from the second part of the same record!

See where I’m going with this? I’m willing to wager that if all goes according to plan, about a week and a half or two weeks from now we’ll see another Swallow the Sun lyric video coming down the PR wire, this one for a cut from the third, final and most extreme portion of the Songs from the North triptych. I’ve got no confirmation of that, so it’s entirely possible Century Media will throw a curveball, but it seems fair to think of “Pray for the Winds to Come” as part of a whole series rather than a standalone entity unto itself, which of course is true of the album from whence it comes, the second part being where the band indulges more of their atmospheric side, acoustics and lush arrangements common throughout its tracks, as opposed to the third part, which is entirely deathlier, or the first, which draws from both sides in Swallow the Sun‘s heretofore underappreciated standard modus.

They announced a European tour with the last video, but in case you don’t feel like clicking back, those dates follow here as well with more info on Songs from the North I, II and III. Enjoy:

Swallow the Sun, “Pray for the Winds to Come” lyric video

SWALLOW THE SUN posts new lyric video for “Pray for the Winds to Come”

SWALLOW THE SUN just posted a brand new lyric video for their song “Pray for the Winds to Come”, taken from the second part of their upcoming triple album!

Songs from the North I, II & III will be released on November 13, 2015 via Century Media Records.

Incorporating dark menace and gradations of death, black and funeral doom, each of the three albums of Songs from the North I, II & III embodies the band’s unofficial band motto, “Gloom, Beauty & Despair”

Songs from the North I continues in the vein of the albums before it – first-rate death-doom in the typical style of SWALLOW THE SUN.

Songs from the North II is a beautiful, acoustic foray representing the group’s ability to unplug and revel in the darkness.

Songs from the North III is the most extreme album, a complete ride into SWALLOW THE SUN’s most horrific abyss of finely-crafted, conscience-crushing funeral doom.

In support of the new album(s), SWALLOW THE SUN will embark on a European headline tour for November/December 2015 accompanied by fellow countrymen Wolfheart and further support bands that will be announced soon. See below for the complete list of dates!

SWALLOW THE SUN live:
11.26. Berlin, K17, DE
11.27. Hamburg, Headcrash, DE
11.28. Rotterdam, Baroeg, NL
11.29. Apeldoorn, TBC, NL
11.30. Paris, Glazart, FR
12.4. Valencia, Rock City, ES
12.5. Barcelona, Apolo 2, ES
12.6. Madrid, Caracol, ES
12.8. Montpellier, Secret Place, FR
12.9. Pratteln, Z7, CH
12.10. Brescia, Circolo Colony, IT
12.11. Ljbubljana, Orto Bar, SL
12.12. Budapest, Dürer Kert, HU
12.13. Kosice, Colosseum Club, SK
12.14. Krakau, Club Rotunda, PL
12.15. Vienna, Viper Room, AT
12.16. Munchen, Backstage, DE
12.17. Weinheim, Café Zentralbar, DE
12.18. Vosselaar, Biebob, BE
12.19. Bochum, Matrix, DE

SWALLOW THE SUN is:
Juha Raivio – guitar
Markus Jämsen – guitar
Mikko Kotamäki – vocals
Matti Honkonen -bass
Aleksi Munter – keys
Juuso Raatikainen – drums

Swallow the Sun website

Swallow the Sun on Thee Facebooks

Swallow the Sun on Twitter

Century Media website

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Swallow the Sun Reveal Album Details for Songs from the North I, II and III

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 18th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

swallow the sun (photo by Jussi Ratilainen Photography)

Finnish death-doomers Swallow the Sun have posted more details concerning their previously-announced triple album, Songs from the North I, II & III. The rather massive undertaking will be released Nov. 13 via Century Media as the follow-up to the band’s 2012 fifth LP, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (track stream here), and along with the artwork and tracklistings for each of the three parts, the intent of each individual chapter has been made public. The first will be sort of the standard Swallow the Sun blend of extreme doom and melodic melancholy, the second acoustic and the third heavier, so that the band presents a different personality on each outings that then feed off each other to form the whole.

I’m interested to hear how it all turns out, but it looks like we have a while to go yet before we get there. Here’s the total four album covers and the latest details off the PR wire:

SWALLOW THE SUN reveal details for new triple album ‘Songs from the North I, II & III’

Melancholy death-doom masters SWALLOW THE SUN bring us a bold, adventurous and characteristically dark triple full-length album entitled Songs from the North I, II & III, which will be released on November 13, 2015 via Century Media Records!

Incorporating dark menace and gradations of death, black and funeral doom, each of the three albums of Songs from the North I, II & III embodies the band’s unofficial band motto, “Gloom, Beauty & Despair”:

Songs from the North I continues in the vein of the albums before it – first-rate death-doom in the typical style of SWALLOW THE SUN.

Track-listing:
1. With You Cam e 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
Total playing time: 59:20

Songs from the North II is a beautiful, acoustic foray representing the group’s ability to unplug and revel in the darkness.

Track-listing:
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
Total playing time: 42:33

Songs from the North III is the most extreme album, a complete ride into SWALLOW THE SUN’s most horrific abyss of finely-crafted, conscience-crushing funeral doom.

Track-listing:
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
Total playing time: 51:57

Songs from the North I, II & III will be available as Special Edition 3CD Box containing 3 Digipaks and a booklet, Ltd. Deluxe Edition 5LP+3CD Box with each album in a gatefold sleeve & as digital album.

Main songwriter and guitarist Juha Raivio comments on the triple album concept: “Making a triple album in this godforsaken digital and modern day and age…Many will say it’s madness. I say it is to bring worth, heart and respect back into the music and to the album format where it belongs. This should never turn into a shallow fast food industry where music is only downloaded one song at a time. These albums hold life, death, gloom, beauty and despair in their deepest levels and forms. The three chapters are different but connected, one long journey through these songs written up here in the North. Music is holy, albums are holy. See you on the other side friends.”

Stay tuned for more news about Songs from the North I, II & III coming soon!

SWALLOW THE SUN is:
Juha Raivio – guitar
Markus Jämsen – guitar
Mikko Kotamäki – vocals
Matti Honkonen -bass
Aleksi Munter – keys
Juuso Raatikainen – drums

SWALLOW THE SUN online:
http://www.swallowthesun.net
https://www.facebook.com/swallowthesun
https://twitter.com/swallowthesunfi

Swallow the Sun, “Psychopath’s Lair” Live at 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise 2014

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