The famous melodic death/doom metalers have auspiciously released their new work, “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird”. Their past albums “New Moon”, “Hope”, “Ghosts Of Loss” and “The Morning Never Came” are not only some of the best in death/doom metal genre, but also in the whole metal scene. From a first listening, I believe that Swallow The Sun with such a very good past, are trying something more progressive in the new album, combined with their melodic death/doom metal style.Well, to be honest, I’m a little disappointed by the new album, but on the other hand Swallow The Sun are breaking the monotony. Despite that I’m a huge fan of their previous albums, I’ll try to be fair and to mention both the good and the bad spots. But the comparison can’t be avoided.

The first touch with “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird” is with the title song. It’s a classic Swallow The Sun track, with heavy riffs, smashing drums and very beautiful atmosphere. A great song, that opens very good the album, so I was thinking at first, that I’m gonna listen a new “Hope”. Well, I think and I am not the only one that “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird” is a doom metal version of “Watershed” or “Heritage” of Opeth, because of the new progressive elements. “This Cut Is The Deepest” is a characteristic song of what I’m saying. It’s a sympathetic ballad song, with successful feeling transmission and magic melodies, but that’s all. Nothing to make me excited. Next, is “Hate, Lead The Way” a very different song, twhere both the vocals and the music compositions are close to black metal genre. But I enjoyed it for sure. Another quite uninterested song for me, is “Cathedral Walls”, too. A ballad-like song with too many progressive points inside it. But around in the middle of the song, the brutal vocals and the death/doom music compositions are entered. The first half is bad and the other half is amazing for me, because the female vocals fit perfectly in melodic death/doom metal style.

Like any other band, Swallow The Sun also tried a different way to experiment themselves musically. But the fans don’t always like this experiment. As I said, they use a lot of progressive music in this album. “Hearts Wide Shut” passed unnoticed for it is not a usual Swallow The Sun song, but if it was a song in an Opeth album it would be great. The doom metal music seems to be removed from “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird”. “Silent Towers” is another progressive song, with some growls and there wasn’t anything to convulse me in this track. But it’s not truth that there aren’t amazing songs in the new album. After all this strange music, “Labyrinth Of London (Horror Pt.1)” comes as a thunder in silence. All the great melodic death compositions of the past with the doom metal attitude are still listened in 2012. Perfect melodies, furious vocals and lyrics full of feelings save somehow the new album. A very traveling song that I can listen it all day. After the seventh track, this progressive experiment seems to stop, it was probably a trial on how the fans will react. They wanted something new and they did it. The early death/doom music and melancholy comes back with “Of Death And Corruption”. Such a great music, that I had to hear from “Hope” era. So majestic melodies and massive drumbeats, that are combined with Miko’s deep growls and the result is explosive. Similar is “April 14th”, too. It moves in the same melodic death/doom metal ways as the other two songs. Finally, the album closes with the majestic “Night Will Forgive Us”. It’s such a stunning fusion between doom metal and melodic death metal that left me a sweet taste of old good Swallow The Sun. Six minutes full of melodies and pain, just how I like it. “Loneliness, so hard to bear, when these rooms breathe emptiness.”

Making a sum, “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird” is simply a good and sympathetic album. It disappointed me in many tracks, but it won the impressions for me after the seventh song. It is in no way better or similar with past epic albums, but has many stuff from them. The band members decided to play something new and they did it, it’s ok. But these progressive adds doesn’t fit very much in their music, I suppose. Now, they’re touring with Paradise Lost and it’s a great opportunity for someone to see two great bands on the stage. “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird” may not be as good as I wanted, because it’s not the same with its predecessors, but on the other hand, Swallow The Sun are playing something new. The fans are never satisfied.

Track List Line Up
01. Emerald Forest And The Blackbird
02. This Cut Is The Deepest
03. Hate, Lead The Way
04. Cathedral Walls
05. Hearts Wide Shut
06. Silent Towers
07. Labyrinth Of London (Horror Pt.1)
08. Of Death And Corruption
09. April 14th
10. Night Will Forgive Us
Mikko Kotamäki – Vocals
Markus Jämsen – Guitar
Juha Raivio – Guitar
Matti Honkonen – Bass
Aleksi Munter – Keyboards
Kai Hahto – Drums