Dark Descent Records’ & Me Saco Un Ojo Records‘ latest import from Helsinki, Finland, is Swallowed, who are no strangers to underground death/doom fans that can’t get enough from Dark Descent Records’ brand of aural filth. Swallowed have released two quality demos as well as a self-titled EP that can be streamed on their Bandcamp.
Lunarterial, their debut full-length album, was just officially released. Swallowed don’t sound like any band out there. The riffs are sometimes distinct for twisting, winding melodies that sound psychotic. The guitar grit is so pronounced, bends and solos squeal at the height of riffs so filthy, that the band’s sound seems more organic to a tourist trekking in the Amazon than any patch of woods beyond Helsinki. Consider this Swallowed’s swamp foetus, their swamp child. Stewing in the dark murk of Helsinki’s forest rot come vocals that match their slow and dirgy riffs with similar demure. Fast blastbeat sections are met by vocals with equal aplomb. The vocalist has a good rasp to his gravely voice. Doom sections slither towards the listener with slow, hypnotic lead guitar in accompaniment. The double bass kicks anchor with slow chord transitions as songs devour the listener whole, like an anaconda would its sizable prey.
Release: 14 October 2014
The fill-ins are chaotic blasts that sound discordant. The doom sections make any dark room claustrophobic. Like stepping into quicksand, the listener has no idea what is in store. The shred sections bite at the listener’s ears like an ant colony feasting on your head as your body is buried in the mud. When the band go hyperspeed, the sandtrap swirls into a black hole that sucks the rest of the world in with it. Doom fans prone to listener-friendly doom riffs should be warned. Swallowed’s brand of death/doom is swath with violence and morbidity. It’s the carni-show that mainstream society can’t stomach. Track four, “Black Aura,” has a doom riff anchoring the track while the drummer goes absolutely crazy with the kit, sending syncopated fill-ins and double kicks beating the listener’s head in with a myriad of blunt instruments. Lunarterial is the sound of Hell breaking loose in an insane asylum. The solos sound like arpeggio trend-kill, coming across as utterly anti-technical. The solos are like the ends of axon and dendron, transmitting a communicative sickness, madness infiltrating the brain cells of an incurable psychopath.
Sincerely, doom/death fans fond of darkness should check out Swallowed’s Lunarterial. On the brink of madness, also on the cusp of genius, Swallowed deliver what will ultimately prove to be an album that stays relevant in spite of what trends may develop. I can’t even describe some of the little melodies they play in track five, “Black Phlegm.” Lunarterial is the sound of madness, or some imminent world transposing our own. It’s eccentric, but not progressive. It’s smothering, like the slow asphyxiating death of a man whose face is forced underneath a pillow. A trip to the swamp should have this for a soundtrack. The opening track, an intro, comes replete with gongs! Get it now.