Swallow The Sun, Emerald Forest And The BlackbirdSwallow The Sun‘s, “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird” hits shelves September 4th in the United States.  The album is being released via Spinefarm Records.  They will be here on tour starting the day after release supporting Kreator and Accept.  Also on the bill is Canadian death metal band, Blackguard.

Mikko Kotamäki, Swallow The Sun
Mikko Kotamäki, Swallow The Sun
See the whole gallery HERE

This album is true Swallow The Sun sound to the core, while seeing obvious progression in songwriting and showcasing more of the musical talent this crew has.  To say they’re getting experimental doesn’t seem fitting, because the sound has a feeling of preparation and it’s very well executed.  The elements that are ‘new’ seem like more in-depth versions of elements that appeared only for a moment on older releases.

There’s a lot more happening on “Emerald Forest And The Blackbird.”  This album features a lot of layers which help create that anxious intensity Swallow The Sun is known for, and this time around it’s more prevalent.

I want to take a moment to talk about the players.  From Kai Hahto‘s intense delivery to those showcase moments where you ask yourself, “how did he do that?,” he proves why he’s one of the best and most sought after drummers in the world.  Watching Mikko Kotamäki‘s vocal talent grow from record to record is so cool because if you start from the early years, you think to yourself, “god damn that dude has a powerful scream.”  Nowadays you listen and think about just how versatile the dude really is.

It’s really hard to miss how great Juha Raivio and Markus Jämsen are on this record.  They hold it down as always, but there’s a lot of little nuances that you catch this time which add so much to the final product.  There’s also new guitar tones which make the overall sound much heavier and allow for them to be featured nicely.

Matti Honkonen is holding down the bottom end and doing the job well.  There’s not a ton of room for him to have standout moments, but he’s not really the kind of bass player who needs them to get recognized.  At the end of the day his glory comes from flawlessly tying the rhythm and melody together while beefing up the track’s bottom end.

Aleksi Munter, Swallow The Sun
Aleksi Munter, Swallow The Sun
See the whole gallery HERE

And finally, I saved the best for last.  Aleksi Munter absolutely owns this album.  There’s so much that the keys add to this record that it’s hard to point out one thing and give credit.  So I’ll just say that any aspiring keyboardist should buy this record and use it as a textbook on how to expertly execute the instrument in a heavy band.  From the layers to the showcase moments, Aleksi‘s performance is stellar.

Swallow The Sun is in a league of their own, showcasing a masterful mix between doom, death and black metal.  The only other bands that come close to executing on the same level are the side projects the members have all created, and even then the bands all have their own sound and feel.  If you don’t know their name by now, you really need to learn it.

There’s a band contributing an element to heavy music that is unmatched.  They’re called Swallow The Sun.  There’s something happening here that you won’t find anywhere else.  Get this record.


SkullsNBones Rating: 5/5


SWALLOW THE SUNTeutonic Terror Attack 2012:
w/ Kreator, Accept, Blackguard
09/05/12 Howard Theater – Washington, D.C.
09/06/12 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
09/07/12 Best Buy Theater – New York, NY
09/08/12 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
09/10/12 Metropolis – Montreal, QC
09/11/12 Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC
09/12/12 Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON
09/14/12 Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
09/15/12 Mojoe’s – Joliet, IL
09/16/12 The Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
09/18/12 Gothic Theater – Englewood, CO
09/19/12 The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
09/21/12 Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, B.C.
09/22/12 Showbox at the Market – Seattle, WA
09/23/12 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
09/25/12 The Grand Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
09/26/12 The Avalon – Hollywood, CA
09/27/12 The Grove – Anaheim, CA
09/28/12 Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ
09/30/12 Emo’s East – Austin, TX
10/01/12 Trees – Dallas, TX
10/02/12 House Of Blues – New Orleans, LA
10/04/12 Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC