HANGING GARDEN

(FINLAND)

I AM BECOME

(2017)
LABEL:

LIFEFORCE

GENRE:

DOOM

TAGS:
Female vocals, Growl, Melancholic
"By sprinkling "I Am Become" with new experiments, Hanging Garden offers a rich work of captivating variety and bewitching sadness."
LOLOCELTIC (18.01.2021)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
If it is not always easy to follow the Finns since their first opus ("Inherit The Eden" - 2007), it must be recognized that Hanging Garden is a formation that does not hesitate to take risks. Going from a typically Scandinavian melodic doom-death to almost sludge lands ("Teotwawki" - 2009) to come back to its fundamentals for a high-flying "At Every Door" (2013), Mikko Kolari's band surprised us again with a more accessible "Blackout Whiteout" (2015). While the EP "Hereafter" (2016) seemed to mark a new return to the roots, the Helsinki gang is back with an expected "I Am Become".

'As Above, So Below' strikes from the start, straight into the point without any warm-up. Once the surprise effect is over, however, it is the traditional Hanging Garden that we find again with its melodic doom-death balancing between melancholy and anger. Powerful and propelled by the rich and dynamic drums of the newcomer, Sami Forssten, he flirts with the borders of a post-rock in the pale northern light. But if the Finns confirm a new return to their original identity, they do not fail to persist in parsimonious experimentations that allow them to never sclerotize. Thus 'Our Dark Design' does not hesitate to engage in a heaviness and an industrial greyness with its martial song and its throbbing riff crushing us under a real lead blanket. For its part, 'Kouta' enriches its metal with electro touches worthy of Depeche Mode, without taking away its coherence to an ensemble that regularly switches from English to Finnish.

It is all these touches that bring a captivating variety to a bewitching ensemble to which Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis), Niko Kalliojärvi (Amoral) and Riikka Hatakka also bring an outside air that is certainly always icy, but regularly renewed. Cradled between more accessible pieces but in a melancholic winter light ('Elysium', 'Ennen'), the listener abandons himself to the most epic pieces on which sometimes hovers the shadow of Swallow The Sun (the dark and heartbreaking 'From Iron Shores' or the icy 'Forty One Breaths'). In the latter category, 'One Hundred Years' is a critical celebration of the centenary of Finnish independence (1917-2017), alternating hovering passages and flayed growls before settling down to a symphonic, twilight finale.

Without turning into a pale copy of "At Every Door", "I Am Become" is nonetheless a return to the land that made the latter a success. However, by endowing his new opus with new experimentation and a superb production, Hanging Garden offers a rich work of captivating variety and bewitching sadness. If you are not frightened by snowy landscapes, pale lights and deep melancholy, do not hesitate to embark on a journey that will stir your emotions and not leave you unscathed.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. As Above, So Below - 6:07
02. Hearthfire (feat. Tomi Joutsen) - 5:14
03. Elysium - 4:33
04. Our Dark Design (feat. Niko Kalliojärvi) - 4:05
05. Kouta - 3:47
06. From Iron Shores (feat. Niko Kalliojärvi) - 5:30
07. One Hundred Years - 6:45
08. Forty One Breaths (feat. Riikka Hatakka & Tomi Joutsen) - 4:58
09. Ennen (feat. Riikka Hatakka) - 5:55

LINEUP:
Jussi Hämäläinen: Chant / Guitares
Jussi Kirves: Basse
Mikko Kolari: Guitares
Nino Hynninen: Claviers
Sami Forssten: Batterie
Toni Toivonen: Chant
Niko Kalliojärvi: Chant / Invité
Riikka Hatakka: Chant / Invité
Tomi Joutsen: Chant / Invité
   
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