With Swallow The Sun frontman Mikko Kotamäki having trodden this Barren Earth since forming back in 2007 his departure may come as a bit of a surprise, especially as the Finns have recruited Jón Aldará from The Faroe Islands of all places to replace him. It takes a few listens but vocally once you get past the fact that at times he’s got a croon that could easily see him serenading in countrymen Tyr as well as a craggy death growl it all makes perfect sense. Naturally musicianship is unchanged and melody really is at the forefront here with melodeath passages sublimely sweeping you off your feet, counterpoised with some doom-etched dips and rampantly zealous flourishes of deep, mind-melting ’70s progressive rock. It’s easy to lose yourself in these expertly crafted numbers especially with a couple of them reaching epic 10 minute plus lengths and rest assured the band make every note count without any excess fat. ‘On Lonely Towers’ strikes as the sound of a band that have really come of age and time may tell that this could well be a future classic.
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