Take the progressive melodicism of genre forebears like the Moody Blues, a deep vein of Gothic emotion a la Joy Division, and crossbreed both with the Finnish metallurgy birthing extremists such as Unholy, Unkind, Abhorrence, Hooded Menace, Oranssi Pazuzu, Rotten Sound, and Reverend Bizarre, and behold Western Finland doom/death journeymen Swallow the Sun.
“Life is usually miserable,” emails singer Mikko Kotamäki, addressing his homeland’s anger management issues. “That’s where the lyrics come from. Finnish mentality is not very often positive. It’s better to put your frustration and anger into music. It’s very therapeutic.”
In 2010, downstairs at the old Emo’s, Swallow the Sun opened the Finnish Metal tour, headlined by pagan thrashers Finntroll and mid-slotted by blackened Helsinki folkers Moonsorrow. Raging like a polar storm, all three groups immolated the corner of Sixth and Red River that night, white walkers taking up instruments to shriek the millennia. Almost two decades in now, and returning locally with eighth LP, Moonflowers, Kotamäki retains all.
“I remember that day very well,” affirms the frontman. “I loved old Emo’s. There was also that great hot sauce shop next door. Our friend took us to a shooting range before soundcheck and then we went to Stubb’s for some all-you-can-eat BBQ.
“Good times. I believe it was our first time in Austin.”
Tue., Nov. 23, 7pm