Single Slam – Upon the Water by Swallow the Sun (When A Shadow Is Forced Into Light)

Finnish doom lords, Swallow the Sun, have released a new single from their incoming new album. This song is called Upon the Water. It will feature on the band’s 7th full length due out on the 25th of January via Century Media Records.

Swallow the Sun are a 6 piece. They are founding member Juha Raivio on guitar with long term members, Mikko Kotamäki on vocals and Matti Honkonen on the bass. More recently, in 2017, Juuso Raatikainen joined on the drums. Even more recently than that, Juho Räihä, on guitar and Jaani Peuhu on keyboards joined, in 2018.

Upon the Water

Swallow the Sun’s last full length release was 2015 with the album Songs from the North I, II and III. More recently, in December, they released a single/EP called Lumina Aurea and you can read our thoughts on that by following the link. Personally, I wasn’t blown away by it. I found it clever but overly drawn out which eventually led to boredom. Something I find doom as a whole occasionally suffers from. Having said that, it isn’t always the case. There are plenty of gems out there and hopefully Upon the Water is one of them.

Upon the Water is 6 and a quarter minutes long so essentially a short track for doom, and for Swallow the Sun. It starts gently with an introspective melody ringing out that soon gets joined by a slow, fuzzy drum beat. The lead guitar comes in, carrying on the thoughtful, brooding tone. Vocals are mixed between clean and growled throughout, almost taking it in turn. Musically we switch from a fuller, all instruments turned up, sound and then back to an eerie melancholy at different points. The whole track has a thick and contemplative feel to it. As expected it is very layered and carefully constructed with every moment feeling necessary and having its place. Every note feeling like an integral part of the bigger picture.

Unlike Lumina Aurea, Upon the Water makes it’s point in a shorter runtime and had a bigger impact on me. I personally felt that Lumina dragged on, despite its intelligence. Upon the Water never drags, instead managing to really impress and have an impact suddenly making me excited for an album I wasn’t overly fussed about. Great job.

Swallow the Sun – When A Shadow Is Forced Into Light – Full Track Listing

1 – When A Shadow Is Forced Into Light

2 – The Crimson Crown

3 – Firelights

4 – Upon the Water

5 – Stone Wings

6 – Clouds on Your Side

7 – Here on the Black Earth

8 – Never Left

You can find out more about Swallow the Sun at their website, on Facebook and on Instagram by following the links. Preorder a copy of When A Shadow Is Forced Into Light from Century Media, here.


  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Upon the Water by Swallow the Sun (When A Shadow Is Forced Into Light)
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