Written by James
Sunday, 24 December 2006
Swallow The Sun - Hope
Since their inception with 2003’s ‘The Morning Never Came’, Finnish titans Swallow The Sun have been a twin-edge proposition: on the one hand they’re incredibly purveyors of melodic death/doom and on the other, they’re so painfully overhyped it’s untrue.
Nothing has really changed with ‘Hope’, it’s still enchanting, it’s still majestic and they do deserve their hype because for ‘Hope’s admittedly few and wholly subjective faults, it’s a powerful piece of expert and atmospheric modern doom. Gentle soft-rock guitar melodies and lilting Paradise Lost vocal harmonies, continue to paint Swallow The Sun as the populist choice for a community that’s becoming represented soly by Opeth, making melodic, funeral-tinged doom the equivalent for its genre of melodic death metal.
By straying away from pure, crushing misery like their peers they may have crafted a more palatable sound, but at the expense of their credibility. ‘Hope’s all a bit tame and optimistic for a genre that’s supposed to be pushing you slowly but surely towards the very edge of oblivion. Instead there’s very little discernable emotion at work, even the slightly iffy Corey Taylor-esque spoken bits fail to convey anything meaningful beyond ‘vaguely sombre’.
Despite the fashionista tendencies best described by a strong and unrepentant easy-listening backbone for people who want to gaze mournfully over horizons, Swallow The Sun aren’t worth dismissing out of hand because what it is they deliver, they deliver with great finesse.