Swallow the Sun

Ghosts of Loss

Written by: AP on 18/10/2005 14:19:39

Swallow the Sun is among the most surprising new bands to shoot into success from the Finnish metal scene. The band lies in many ways in similitude with the Swedish quintet Opeth, in that both bands profess in mastering agonizingly long, grievous tracks that force tears from the listener?s eyes.

?Ghosts of Loss? is not easy to listen to. Whereas Opeth?s ?Ghost Reveries? is far more accessible to the doom metal newbie, ?Ghosts of Loss? contains melodies that are seriously difficult to accept. The opener, ?The Giant?, for instance, deceives with its simplicity, yet allures with its eloquence. It is extremely slow in tempo, and crashes numerously into ghastly breakdowns maintained only by single stringed lead guitars and Mikko Kotam?ki?s solemn clean vocals. The entire track is highlighted by what can only be characterized as an agonizing, nostalgic mood. ?Descending Winters? and ?Psychopath?s Lair? then introduce a somewhat more heavy and foreboding sound, which hint towards the black metal influence that the band is quite obviously inspired by. Perhaps the most interesting track on the album follows immediately after; ?Forgive Her?? is the first Finnish doom metal song ever to enter the top 20 singles chart in Finland, staying on the list an admirable six weeks, one week as number four. That said, it does not contribute anything different or innovative to the album, and it seems as though any other track could have acquired this kind of status too.

This is where the album fails to inspire any appreciation from me. It simply doesn?t live up to the expectations set by its ancestor, ?The Morning Never Came?, which was released in 2003 with huge appraisal. As said before, this is a difficult album to approach and the fact that it fails to provide any variation does nothing to aid this. The album can only be described as inspirational if one is looking to summon depression and generally blacken one?s life. ?Ghosts of Loss? is music from beyond the grave, ghastly, slow, and painful. The general themes on the album are indeed loss and despair, and even though this is the ideology behind doom metal, ?Ghosts of Loss? is simply too painful to listen to unless one?s mood is as dark. The seventh track, ?Gloom, Beauty and Despair? is perhaps the best track to describe the idea that is ?Ghosts of Loss?. And while I?m not denying the instrumental and stylistic brilliance of Swallow the Sun?s effort, it is an album that I neither can nor will recommend to anyone but a dedicated doom-metal fan.


Download: Descending Winters, Forgive Her...
For the fans of: Paradise Lost, Opeth

Release date 03.10.2005
Firebox Records
Provided by Target ApS

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