From the cold depths of Finland comes the moody, cinematic death metal of Swallow the Sun
. Since their beginning in 2000, these Finns have released at least eight albums - one of which is a triple album. Swallow the Sun's creations take their time to build, stoking fires of anticipation with melodic layers woven together until the dirgy vocals kick in. Singer Mikko Kotamäki sings beautifully- his vocals brings to mind a slower, even more somber Ian Curtis. Swallow the Sun is gothic in the most romantic lost-in-a-blizzard sense of the word - the lyrics are poetry and each track is sure to evoke strong feelings (mostly desolate ones, but that's not a bad thing). It's no surprise that the band mines the depths of darker emotions, especially in the wake of the death of frequent collaborator/love Aleah. Their newest album, Moonflowers, was recorded in old church with the album art hand made by founder/guitarist Juha Raivio using his own blood (you can definitely check a few goth and metal boxes with that sentence). Swallow the Sun is heavy, dark, and morose but nothing if not completely captivating - a must see for all music fans, not just doom and metal lovers.