Like Soilwork, Swallow The Sun brings melody to death metal. But whereas the antiseptic headlining act grafts Speed Strids ultra-clean choruses onto hard-rock verses, the atmospheric opener uses a virtual orchestra, tapping keyboard effects to supplement its doom-laden riffs with symphonic hooks. Hailing from Finland, Swallow The Sun reached #4 on its homelands clearly adventurous singles chart with 2005s Forgive Her , a nine-minute murder ballad filtered through guttural vocals. Singer Mikko Kotamäki tranquilizes his growling-bear delivery during the groups more recent material, catchy progressive fare that sounds optimistic though its actually gloomy as ever. Even the song Hope is a downer, plucking its title from the phrase well of poisoned hope. The bands latest release contains a 34-minute track about star-crossed lovers and plague-carrying butterflies, pinning tragic deaths on one of natures least frightening animals. Swallow The Sun can find the downside to anything, lyrically speaking, but live the group promises to make the most of its modest time allotment.
Tue., March 3, 7 p.m., 2009