Swallow The Sun

LKA Longhorn, Stuttgart - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It was time for Swallow The Sun, and in my humble opinion some real quality, to join the Into Darkness party at the LKA Longhorn in Stuttgart.
Scar Of The Sun, the first band of the evening had been a positive surprise; Lake Of Tears, the second band, not so much...

Things promised well for the concert as the melancholy Finnish folk song they used as an intro began to roll out of the speakers; in comparison to the Markthalle gig, the amount of people had now increased instead of decreased, and better than that, people seemed expectant and happy – I heard spread shouts and whistling around the hall, and this only increased as the members of the band entered the stage, one after the other. To my big surprise, keyboardist Aleksi Munter actually lived up to his name for once (Munter means merry in Swedish, no idea if it means anything in Finnish), and this struck an unusually positive tone for the band that, even though it came on edge with the music they play, actually suited them well in these surroundings. This was a band clearly intent on giving the audience their money’s worth, and about time I’d say!
It was almost turned to naught though, as ever indifferent vocalist Mikko Kotamäki came strolling down the stairs (there was a set of stair next to the stage leading up to the second floor backstage area) with a beer in one hand and a bottle of water in the other... I have previously mentioned that this might just be a roll he enters to get in the right mood for delivering the lyrics, but even if it is, it doesn’t really work in a live setting, neither visually nor emotionally. The fact that he only turned his back on the audience while not singing only underlined this...

The rest of the band was really going at it though; probably because the tour was drawing nearer to its end, they felt they could really let themselves go and push it just that little extra to make a great performance stellar.
With the aid of this, and most likely also the very encouraging Stuttgart crowd, Kotamäki began crawling ever so carefully out of his shell and join the doomy festivities that his bandmates were already celebrating.
This in turn only fired the audience up even more, and as I looked around me I saw a lot of excited gazes fixed on the stage and even more headbangers trying to find a proper way of swinging their mane to the slow music. Well, slow and slow, Swallow The Sun were once again presenting their speedy setlist, and I’m using the term in its broadest form here, to us. If I am to believe what I have seen around the net, some of the songs I didn’t know included Labyrinth Of London (Horror Pt. IV) and Descending Winters, but as they lacked an introduction I can’t say for certain whether it was these or not, hence they won’t make the setlist at the end of the review. I was however glad to hear that they had decided to include Cathedral Walls in the set again, as I had missed it the other day.

To be frank, the only lasting problem the band had this evening had to do with the technical stuff, and that was that the vocals lay a bit too low in the overall mix of the sound, making them hard to hear sometimes in the more introvert passages. Also, again I was disappointed in the amount of vocals being pre-recorded, this isn’t (in my opinion) what a live-gig is about, especially not a metal one.

Having said that, I feel that Swallow The Sun had really found their form at this show, and I hope they can keep this style up as it fulfilled most of my wishes when it comes to this band (under pressure from Lunah Lauridsen, I have to add that the addition of This Cut Is The Deepest would not have gone unappreciated).

Setlist (incomplete):

Emerald Forest And The Blackbird
Out Of This Gloomy Night
Cathedral Walls
Night Will Forgive us

Latest uploads: