Swallow the Sun
Who would’ve ever taken the bet a doom metal album would be titled “Hope”?
But that’s the name of Swallow the Sun’s audacious new release. Maybe it’s because beneath all that heavy metal guitar, there’s a gentle bed of euphony that doesn’t seem the least bit out of place. That even though the vocal attack is often scurrilous, it’s also alternatingly smooth.
An example includes a heavenly choir ahhing over the sludgy, staccato riffing on “These Hours of Despair.” On “Don’t Fall Asleep (Horror Part 2),” a sonorous female voice counteracts the lead singer’s caustic growl.
So is it really doom metal? The slower, enveloping miasma sounds so. Swallow the Sun does eschew the ominous and ambient trappings of the genre to focus more on the music, though. That shines through best on steady, prodigious punches like “Too Cold for Tears” and “The Empty Skies.”
Rather than piling on the creeps, Swallow the Sun concerns itself with demonstrating the majestic power of lightness in the dark. It’s a welcome addition.