Swallow the Sun – The Morning Never Came – Review

swallowthesun200Swallow the Sun

The Morning Never Came (Olympic)
by Eric Chon

Oh, the unbearable heaviness of being! Doom metal is normally so plod, plod, plod and “Oh, I’m so crushed by life” that it ends up parodying itself. Slather on some face paint and some fishnets and it’s Goth without the crappy techno angle. But Finnish doom-meisters Swallow the Sun somehow embrace these aspects without overdoing it, a feat I once thought impossible.

Yes, the songs are wicked long. Yes, they’re slow and ominous. And yes, I can feel the pain and torment that dances – somberly – across their souls. But the musicianship and the songwriting are phenomenal. It’s a cop-out to use words like “haunting” and “beautiful” when reviewing a good doom metal album, but it fits. While being Uranium-heavy is a prerequisite, having such a good ear for melody and harmony are not. Luckily, The Morning Never Came is replete with hauntingly beautiful melodies (see what I did there?). While the songs blaze forward at a meandering pace, they never become dull or overstay their welcome. A refreshing change of pace for a genre that does little to move forward.

For any doom metal fan, The Morning Never Came should be right up there on their Top 10 list. It’s really a shining (or perhaps darkening?) example of how to do it right. While the rest may want something a little more alive (like, say, death metal: How ironic), you cannot question the quality of this record.