Dark Descent Records is currently in full force, signing numerous young bands that are beginning their career by creating some of the most promising death metal around these days. Swallowed is the next such band putting out an album for the label, but unfortunately, their debut isn’t a hit like most of the label's other work. “Lunarterial” is the Finnish group’s effort in creating doomy death metal that leaves an impact. Unfortunately, it does just the opposite. The album fails to build atmosphere, as it often plods along without much excitement. The first half of the album is definitely much faster and stronger than the last couple of tracks, but neither sound is particularly mesmerizing.
The biggest problem with Swallowed’s faster sound is that it’s just a mess. The guitars are tuned incredibly low, making differentiating riffs a hopeless task. Random flailing leads appear out of nowhere, but they fail to be used tastefully, as they add to the madness, rather than to the songwriting. In fact, when the leads aren’t based around abusing the tremolo bar, they’re much stronger. These more upbeat moments, however, are a small portion of an album that revolves around doom. As you might expect, the slow sections are no better.
Swallowed’s failure in composing heavy, doomy sections is the same problem that a lot of bands in this style have: they play incredibly crushing power chords seemingly at random, putting no effort towards constructing a riff, let alone a memorable one. Compounding this problem even further is the fact that the album drones on and on. The final track, “Libations”, is a monolithic 25-minutes, and there is not a single moment in that track I can recall despite having heard it multiple times. Minute 3 is no different from minute 21, which is ultimately not all that different from most of the other songs on the record. If the music were more intriguing, that would be fine, but by the end of the album, it’s just draining. The most unfortunate part of it all is that “Lunarterial” has a killer album cover which drew me in, but the music just doesn’t hold up.
Nevertheless, be sure to check out Swallowed on Facebook!
2.7/5 or 54%.
Written by Scott