A Swarm of The Sun

Zenith

Written by: DR on 14/12/2010 21:03:03

Erik Nilsson and Jakob Berglund have been making music together under the name A Swarm of The Sun since 2007, with their debut EP "The King of Everything", released on Erik's very own Version Studio label, to critical praise. Since then, they've been working on the full-length debut, "Zenith", is what I'll be reviewing for y'all.

If you like drone-y post-rock/metal it's a good thing you read on, because A Swarm of The Sun do it, and mostly do it well. Don't allow yourself to be misled by "drone-y", because this isn't fifty minutes of feedback and buzzing, it's very much a post-rock/metal album. I use that term in that way because there are those bands that toe the line between the two genres and are therefore nearly-impossible to hold-down to either camp, names like Red Sparowes and If These Trees Could Talk being two that immediately spring to mind, so it's a big plus that Swarm... sound like them. Opener "Lifeline" is a promising start, the first minute and a half is used for lingering guitars and a flickering ambience that builds up subdued underneath ala This Will Destroy You; the second half smashes you in the face with soaring guitars. The flawlessly produced "This One Has No Heart" follows, the combination of drums and piano sound like a bell tolling and even though they include vocals, which largely contribute to the drone-y factor, right from the start it's loud enough to build on the momentum "Lifeline" generated. Did I mention how great the production on that track is?

"Refuge", too, begins loud enough, but roughly half-way through Swarm... descends into electronics Trent Reznor-esque vocals. Ten-minute mammoth "Zenith" does the loud/quiet/loud/quiet thing, and is decent enough for a 'centrepiece' song. Thereafter on "Zenith", they make too much of a habit of retreating into introspective lulls of quiet, not that they aren't executed adequately, because the production on this album is fantastic (did I mention that yet?). But when they defer their relatively tender experience by doing the intense, in-your-face wall-of-sound so expertly it's hard not to wonder why they didn't exploit this side of their style more? "The Worms Are Out" utilises ringing guitars and semi-screams, making it one of the stand-out songs of the underwhelming second half of the album.

Others may like the more atmospheric' side of A Swarm of The Sun, but in this reviewer's opinion, after such a promising start to "Zenith", you can't help but feel slightly disappointed. Still, this is a debut album and a damn promising one at that.

Download: Lifeline, This One Has No Heart, The Worms Are Out
For The Fans of: Red Sparowes, If These Trees Could Talk, p.g. lost
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 30.08.2010
Version Studio

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