Swallow the Sun may have gotten into the death-doom metal craze a good decade after its peak, but even thirteen years on, they are still going strong, evidenced by their latest release, 2012's Emerald Forest and the Blackbird.
At the core of the album are its meandering trips through doom metal, with hints of gothic metal and melodeath supplied liberally. The extended, repetitious passages also suggest some influences from post-metal, though without the tendency towards sludge. The occasional peppering of spoken word and female vocals also adds some variety here and there, but don't expect them to deviate too far from the norm.
There's no implication that Swallow the Sun aren't still a strong act, but Emerald Forest does show their age. It drags on a bit, especially towards the second half. This isn't exactly a surprise when you consider that the album consists of ten similarly-styled pieces, all longer than your average metal track, but it still makes for a somewhat sluggish finish to an album that's actually pretty tight otherwise.
If you enjoy more pensive metal, then you'll love Emerald Forest. But if you're new to the band, consider their stronger debut, 2003's The Morning Never Came instead.
7.0 / 10
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