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Swallow The Sun
The Morning Never Came
December 2003
Released: 2003, Firebox Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Swallow the Sun is a new band hailing from the ever-fertile metal hotbed that is Finland. Formed in 2000, the band contains a number of ex-members of Funeris Nocturnum. The band are extremely fast workers, having only recorded their demo in January 2003. Since then they’ve already signed to Firebox Records who have just released this disc, the band’s first full-length ear destroyer.

It’s impossible to compare the band’s music to any one band, as they’ve come up with something that is entirely their own. Basically, take all of the best elements of the doom genre, and combine it with the deathly growls of Floridian death metal, and you will end up with something approximating Swallow the Sun, but not quite. The band clearly has the indescribable something that only the best bands possess.

Basically what you get with THE MORNING NEVER CAME is an absolutely brutal hour long head-crush of doom/death. Don’t expect any twin guitar heroics and mile-a-minute double bass pummeling though, this ain’t no Arch Enemy wannabe. Instead Swallow the Sun’s music is slow and devastating, wallowing in misery for the entire length of its duration. Sorrow is the name of the game for these guys, and the make you feel every ounce of it that they can conjure up. Don’t worry though, you’ll love it! Be prepared though, this album is a definite workout. Blazing through nine songs in 56:32, the band’s shortest song is the brutally effecting “Swallow”, at 5:23. These songs are elephantine labyrinths of melancholy.

One of the trump cards of the band is keyboardist A. Munter. His shadings serve to highlight and enhance the band’s gloomy dirges, heightening the affective sadness inherent in the music. Conversely, vocalist M. Kotamaki has one of the most pained and hateful bellows to come across these ears in quite some time. His vocals sounds as if he’s made it his mission to share, scratch that, make you share his pain.

I highly recommend this band to any and all fans of doom metal. This is one of the year’s best albums and is not to be missed. Plus, it’s the perfect album to combat all of that annoying good cheer that is shoved down our throats at this time of year.
Track Listing

1) Through Her Silvery Body
2) Deadly Nightshade
3) Out of this Gloomy Light
4) Swallow
5) Silence of the Womb
6) Hold This Woe
7) Under the Waves
8) The Morning Never Came


M. Kotamaki: Vocals
J. Raivio: Guitars
M. Jamsen: Guitars
M. Honkonen: Bass
A. Munter: Keyboards
P. Pasanen: Drums



Next review: » Swallow The Sun - The Morning Never Came
Previous review: » Swallow The Sun - Plague of Butterflies

Swallow The Sun
The Morning Never Came
June 2005
Released: 2003, Olympic/Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

For those sick of waiting for new albums by Daylight Dies or Rapture, this might just do the trick. Proving that Finland must, in fact, be the most depressing god-damned country on the planet, Swallow The Sun have spit forth one of the blackest, darkest discs that this reviewer has heard in years. This CD needs a warning label:

“Do not play without a pill bottle nearby.”

“Do not play around Paradise Lost fans; it will only make them cry.”

“Do not play If currently under suicide watch.”

“Do not play around significant other with the expectation of ever getting laid again.”

You know…that sort of thing.

The production is sterling, and captures the sorrow perfectly. This pins down so much of what something like Shape Of Despair so dearly sought to. Again, the resemblance to vintage Katatonia and Daylight Dies is striking. But rather than copy their repetitive guitar approach, STS opt to simply plod, with the emphasis on delay of gratification—you know a terrific riff is coming, so you kick back, and soak in the build up, in all its clever melancholy. And that’s the best description, really: Dreary and depressive, but yet, damn clever. It sounds spontaneous, but it’s nothing of the sort. It’s actually quite calculated—but it’s passion-drenched, and comfortable in its identity early on. For a young band, it must be said that they know exactly who they are. Most bands take years to develop their approach; Swallow The Sun sound like they’ve been doing this for years.

The guitars are positively mournful, and smooth. The drums are steady, and well-recorded. The keyboards hang out in the background for ambience, like a token minority on a sitcom. The music seems to chew on its own scenery, with many of the riffs taking on an almost horror film-like atmosphere. There is an emotional weight and depth here, if you can weather the gurgled roars of the singer.

Now, I’d be lying if I said that this was not repetitive, or slow-moving. Indeed, this often lumbers. But I believe this to be the point: it’s supposed to be bleak and dreary. The songs are supposed to take forever to get to where they go—hey, at least they go somewhere. My Dying Bride could take a nod from this.

All in all, if you are a fan of this style, this is a must-purchase; it’s better than much of what has passed for “doom” these days, and is free of any stoner bullshit that might prove hindrance to a good night’s sulk and scowl. Otherwise, Death Metal fans attracted by the Olympic label might want to watch out, and perhaps download a track or three before plunking down their hard-earned blood-money. This is slow, powerful, and classy—and the vocals are, indeed, a good long growl (similar, perhaps, to old Amorphis). But if you expect anything resembling a blast-beat, you have another thing coming (and I’d rather not be present when it arrives).

All I’m saying is that it can be a “good” kind of pain, or a “bad” kind off pain. It really does depend upon how fucking depressed you are.

Fans of Garden Of Shadows, Daylight Dies, old Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride take note: this threatens to undo you. And damn it, you probably have it coming.

NOTE: A cover of Candlemass' "Solitude" is included as a bonus on the American 2005 release.
Track Listing

1. Through Her Silvery Body
2. Deadly Nightshade
3. Out Of This Gloomy Light
4. Swallow
5. Silence Of The Womb
6. Hold This Woe
7. Under The Waves
8. The Morning Never Came


Pasi Pasanen - Drums
Markus Jamsen - Guitars
Mikko Kotamaki - Vocals
Juha Raivio - Guitars
Matti Honkonen - Bass
Aleksi Munter - Keyboards

Next review: » Swallowed - Swallowed 2010 (EP), Epitaph of Nauseation 2008 (demo) & Putrefaction 2007 (demo)
Previous review: » Swallow The Sun - Plague of Butterflies

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