A Swarm of the Sun - The Rifts [VINYL] - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

A Swarm of the Sun - The Rifts [VINYL]

by Brian Lange. Rating:8 Release Date:2015-02-26

A Swarm of the Sun’s record, The Rifts, starts out haunting and ambient. Hailing from Scandanavia, Swarm’s members, Erik Nilsson and Jakob Berglund, bring forth a record that is quintessential black/ambient metal. Through distorted guitars and crashing drums, you get a sense of the grandiose and tumultuous emotions that Erik and Jakob are releasing. 

There aren’t a lot of lyrical components to this record. Instead, the duo rely on the instrumental qualities to make its mark. The tempo is slow and mysterious, perhaps suggestive of an archaic sort of feel. Though there is a lot of repetition on this record and little in the way of progressions or build-ups to magnificent crescendos, that doesn’t necessarily detract from its strength. 

'Incarceration' stands out as one of the highlights of the record. It's grandiose like the soundtrack to a montage of a battle scene in a Peter Jackson fantasy film. But the real power of the album isn’t the loud or catchy qualities, but all the material that isn’t part of the superficial stand-out tracks. Like a cocoon, The Rifts will slowly entangle you within it’s darkened womb.

Though this record is mostly stripped of vocals, when they do interject lyrics they make it count. Anything dark and melancholy can be interpreted as cliché or derivative but the strength and raw emotion can truly be felt in the softly spoken lines of 'These Depths Were Always Meant for Both of Us': "The dream I left behind was never real/ The dreams I leave behind are all I feel/ and hope has never seemed so far away/ I need you to survive another day I pull you deep along to make you sing/ that you’re the greatest thing I’ll never be."

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