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Swallow the Sun: Emerald Forest and the Blackbird

It may be just me but a lot of Finnish metal seems to be some of the most stubborn artists in the world in not wanting to address any problems with their music whatsoever. In turn, this record is, unsurprisingly, an extremely predictable, formulaic, and therefore unemotional death/doom exercise. Getting better production doesn't make the compositions automatically epic or even good for that matter.

The song "Emerald Forest..." retains that beautiful, lullaby-esque melody from their teaser website and thankfully utilizes it at least to some potential to where it actually ignites my imagination. I would listen to that track again. Yet aside from the title track, this is Swallow the Sun by numbers, which is essentially a slow intro turned to clean section with a melodramatic lead, giant chorus, hell you could call this pop doom at this point. It's hard to expand on this because the album doesn't switch it up ever. Even the closing track, which is usually at least redeemable on all their other records, is probably the worst track on here, blending growls with predictable vocal melodies in its sappy chorus, the rest of the music indistinguishable from anything else on the record. Oh, there's fake flutes on "Hearts Wide Shut," forgive me.

This is just a waste of time. There's no dancing around that, for the band has apparently abandoned all ambition for creating atmospheric, emotive music in turn for this hot-topic doom, but hopefully they prove me wrong. Earlier in their career accessibility wasn't an issue but now it seems to be the foundation of their music. "Cathedral Walls" is the single for the record (featuring Anette from Nightwish on guest vocals) and epitomizes why this album is bad: everything in the track is self-plagiarism, mashing up every element from the band into seven minutes in a really sloppy way...but more accessible. This band needs to change it up now, or it'll be beyond me how they could feel accomplished whatsoever.

Track Listing
1. Emerald Forest and the Blackbird
2. This Cut is the Deepest
3. Hate, Lead the Way!
4. Cathedral Walls
5. Hearts Wide Shut
6. Silent Towers
7. Labyrinth of London (Horror pt. IV)
8. Of Death and Corruption
9. April 14th
10. Night Will Forgive Us

Added: April 2nd 2012
Reviewer: Danny Heater
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1704
Language: english

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