It is a very well-known fact that great art is mostly created when the artist experiences intense feelings which unfortunately don’t come from a good place. This could be characterized as a paradox, since the result of an artist’s pain is a pleasure for the receiver. The seventh album of Swallow The Sun is in memory of guitarist Juha Raivio’s life partner Aleah Stanbridge. The announcement of the album’s release was made with the release of the EP ‘Lumina Aurea‘, followed by the statement of this sad loss. The particular track is heightened by a magnificent video which features Einar Selvik (Wardruna) and Marco I. Benevento (The Foreshadowing).

Knowing the above, leads many of us to treat this album differently, and I don’t mean that we must like it. ‘When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light‘ is a great album nonetheless. It is a classic funeral doom/melodic death album, being at the moment one of the best of the genre. The balance between ambient sounds, clean vocals , melodic guitars and death climax perfectly flows throughout the whole album, which is accompanied by great backing vocals and a stringed orchestration. All this creates something more than just a mourning album. The darkness and the shadow of death take shape by this amazing musical execution resulting simultaneous feelings of despair and euphoria. The last track ‘Never Left‘ however defines the album’s atmosphere, as it is a painful farewell to a loved one.

Swallow The Sun have gifted us  with one more great album, this time deriving from a painful life experience and as it always happens in every form of art, ‘When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light‘ has made its mark on eternity.

Mary Kalaitzidou