Swallow the Sun – Plague of Butterflies EP (Spinefarm Records)

Friday, 15th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Having finally touched down on North American shores last year with Katatonia, Swallow the Sun remain at the helm of Finnish gloom and doom metal. 2007’s Hope was a lateral move after ‘05’s killer Ghosts of Loss album, with the band merely building upon their massive melodic doom template. Plague of Butterflies on the other hand, is an avant-garde, callous and cold EP, hopefully shedding light on what the band has in store for the future.

Consisting of the three-part “Plague of Butterflies” song and four tracks from the band’s Through Her Silvery Body demo, this EP is thankfully 60 minutes long, which when you come to think of it, doesn’t really constitute an EP, but we’ll take it.

As for “Plague of Butterflies,” the song is wrought with sinister twin guitar melodies and that sloooow, rolling tempo Swallow the Sun has come to perfect. Vocalist Mikko Kotmaki now effortless weaves his harsh rasp with sonorous and soothing clean vocals, made all the more desperate when keyboardist and principal songwriter Aleski Munter’s haunting keys chime in. Easily the most adventurous song the band has penned, “Plague of Butterflies” is almost prog-like in its execution and that’s scary.

The Through Her Silvery Body EP tacked on is a real treat, especially considering how all four songs: “Through Her Silvery Body,” “Out of This Gloomy Light,” “Swallow” and “Under the Waves” would eventually land on the band’s The Mourning Never Came debut, which still stands as one of the decade’s true melodic doom touchstones.

The #1 Finnish doom export (we can’t reiterate that enough), Swallow the Sun have crafted a wholly enjoyable EP, one that sets the stage for their forthcoming full-length, which should be out in early 2009. With a trio doom gems and a killer EP to boot, Swallow the Sun appear to only have scratched the surface of their capabilities. Totally recommended on all fronts.

www.myspace.com/swallowthesundoom

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)