Inferno Magazine is currently streaming the new album by Finland's doom, gloom & despair masters, SWALLOW THE SUN, titled ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’ – click here to get there. SWALLOW THE SUN's fifth full-length, set for February 1st, 2012-release on Spinefarm Records, was recorded by Mikko Karmila at Drumforest Studios in Viitasaari and Sonic Pump 2 in Helsinki and by Hannu Honkonen at Noisework Studios, also in Helsinki. The ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’ was mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa, and mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios. The album's artwork was created by Rami Mursula. Besides the recognizable voice of Anette Olzon, Aleah Stanbridge's (TREES OF ETERNITY) vocal contributions can be found on two tracks. Pre-order the album here (Record Shop X).
“I found myself listening to an old Finnish lullaby called “Sininen Uni” over and over again, and suddenly images started pouring into my mind of a dad reading a tale to his dying child, trying to explain where the child is going that night, the tale of ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’,” [does his best to cheer us up Juha Raivio, the band's main songwriter] “Finally this image lead me into a long journey through this night and got me trapped in the limbo between the dusk and the dawn. The place where you face your demons and angels, meet the souls of the ones you loved and lost. Will we walk the night forever, or let the night forgive us and let us say a last goodbye? These are songs from the limbo, notes of sorrow, hate, love, darkness and light. The tale of ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’.”
Check out SWALLOW THE SUN's latest video, ‘Cathedral Walls’, below. Directed by Tage Rönnqvist, the song features the voice of NIGHTWISH' Anette Olzon.
(The “death & doom luminaries”) SWALLOW THE SUN was formed in 2000 by Juha Raivio, in Jyväskylä, Finland. The band signed with Firebox Records on the strength of their first recording, 2003's ‘Out Of This Gloomy Light’ demo. STS' debut studio album, ‘The Morning Never Came’, came out that same year and was received with much critical praise. Their 2005's ‘Ghost Of Loss’ peaked at position 8 on Finnish Top 40 Albums chart, with 2007's ‘Hope’ (Spinefarm Records) climbing their home-country's charts even higher, reaching position number 3. In 2008, SWALLOW THE SUN felt obliged to tell the tale of “an old hermit, deep woods, loneliness and the plague”, and out came their first EP ‘Plague Of Butterflies’, a 35 minutes long song “of crushing gloom, beauty and despair” divided into three parts. It, of course, conquered the Finnish charts. Jens Bogren-produced fourth album ‘New Moon’ was issued on Spinefarm/Svart Records in 2009:
“Imagine the surprise of your average wannabe teenage vampire who erroneously purchases ‘New Moon’ - not the soundtrack album for the popular “Twilight” movie franchise - but the fourth album by doom/death demi-gods SWALLOW THE SUN. Or vice-versa!” [just fixed my morning Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic] “In either case, there’d be little chance of crossover given the Fins' continuing commitment to the harshest elements of their metallic sound - all leviathan riffs and beastly growls and shrieks - even as they progressively experiment with tighter song arrangements, melodic singing, and gothic accents (see ‘Falling World’) amid the ever-present symphonic backdrops that have served them well since the start of their career. … Not unlike KATATONIA before them, SWALLOW THE SUN can’t help but evolve, and it’s ultimately the very gradual rate at which they do so that makes it almost impossible for even the most stubborn of fans to begrudge them that evolution, with the alternative being stagnation. People who think like that may as well go buy that shitty “Twilight” soundtrack.” [Read the rest here]
SWALLOW THE SUN features: Mikko Kotamäki – vocals, Juha Raivio – guitar, Markus Jämsen – guitar, Aleksi Munter – keyboards Matti Honkonen – bass, and Kai Hahto – drums