Originally written by Patrick Dawson
There are among us men born with the will to create, and available to these souls are many roads; roads that do not all lead to desirable ends. Nowhere are the disastrous ends of the wrong path taken more obvious than in the musical arena; more specifically, the niche metal occupies within that arena. That said, Suomi’s Swallow the Sun have made the choice to walk the road of the subtle perfectionist. The succulent marrow at the heart of their first album was a bit more readily apparent but what the band have done this time, rather than make drastic changes, they have merely tweaked and finalized the design begun on The Morning Never Came. Allow me to elaborate on their latest realization of the doom metal template, and the necessity of the death metal fire that brings it all together.
The nine minute flagship song “Forgive Her” officially makes these gentlemen the first metal band ever to enter the Finnish popular music chart, and position No. 4 is nothing to scoff at. Featuring guest vocals from the Reverend Bizarre himself, Magister Albert, the single is certainly indicative of the quality found on The Ghosts of Loss. Layered keyboards, viscid, expansive guitar tone and a vocalist at ease with this mild rumbling growl are the veneer that allows a shine to surface from deep within a creation built on the legacy of My Dying Bride’s percussive march and the influence of contemporary genre blenders like Morgion. This time around, the time honored standard doom checklist is expanded upon with variation and a surging passion yanked from the more chaotic metal of death.
With a minimum bet on song length at a rather steep 6 minutes, some fans may be turned away from the table by the drawn out nature of the work, or worse, may listen with the periphery of their attention and use this splendid work as background noise. Closer inspection will yield a perfectionism alluded to earlier whereby each song begins with a theme and slowly, methodically builds and expands upon the idea until completion. At worst this album is a cache of sorrowful and evocative songs even the casual listener may enjoy, but at its core lies the purposeful strokes of a master creator whose potential is just beginning to show.