Swallowed – Lunarterial (2014)
Dark Descent/ Me Saco Un Ojo
Review by Jude Felton
Malevolent forces have manifested themselves inside a duo from Helsinki, Finland, which has resulted in the creation of Lunarterial. This is the debut album from the Fin’s and not only does it go to show that the small Scandinavian country has a seemingly endless supply of great music, but it also shows that there is a great variety as well.
If we wanted to neatly categorize Swallowed, we could just say that they are another Death Doom Metal band. That would not only be damned lazy of me, it would also be not entirely true. Yes, there are plenty of doom infused death metal elements on display on this album, yet there is a far more chaotic approach to the music. The riffs are there, sometimes buried, sometimes in your face, but it is the unnerving vocals and psychotic lead guitar work that will immediately bury themselves in your psyche.
There are times, during the six songs on Lunarterial, where you feel as though Swallowed may completely descend into utter chaos. This only adds to the sheer unremitting horror of the music that we are treated too, and is quite simply the aural equivalent of some long lost, and thoroughly depraved, horror film.
The chaos though, whilst hovering there for the entire duration, heaps on the atmosphere. Arterial Mists of Doom, which follows the delightfully evil intro, Opening the Key, and Reverence Through… perfectly exemplifies this pervading sense of dread that the album is drenched in.
All of this culminates in the absolute monstrosity that is Libations, the closing track which clocks in at a whopping 25 minutes. As with the rest of Lunarterial though, it never outstays its welcome, and is the perfect closing to a horrifying, yet quite superb, debut album.
Dark Descent are handling the CD release of this beast, with Me Saco Un Ojo delivering the vinyl edition, and I can only say that Swallowed are another fine addition to both labels rosters. Dark Descent, in particular, is churning out a seemingly endless supply of gold right now, with album after album of top quality music, and yes, this is another one!
Lunarterial more than deserves your attention, it demands it. More than that though, it demands you shut out the rest of the world and really let the music soak in, as there is a lot to digest here. It will take you down to the very pits of hell, but you can rest assured that it will be a damned enjoyable ride, even though you may not make it back alive.
1. Opening of the Key
2. Reverence Through...
3. Arterial Mists of Doom
4. Black Aura
5. Black Phlegm