Finnish dark prog metal sextet Swallow The Sun have announced they will release a brand new studio album, Moonflowers, through Century Media on November 19.
The new album comes with a full bonus album featuring very special instrumental versions of all the regular album tracks. This instrumental album has been composed for strings and recorded at Sipoo Church in Finland. The strings were performed by the group called Trio NOX from Finland.
Starting today, all these instrumental songs will be launched as animated videos, which were created by Dronicon Films. One by one every week, leading up to the first single release of the main album. You can watch the video for the album's opening track Moonflowers Bloom In Misery.
"After I had finished writing all the music for this record in the fall of 2020 I started to write these small instrumental versions of the album songs for the violin, viola, cello and piano," explains guitarist Juha Raivio. "Mostly because I was wondering how it would feel like to hear all these songs first as these intimate versions instead of a full band album. It was really beautiful to see and hear these songs come alive in this way and form, recorded live in this big church in Finland. To be able to hear the echoes of this music reflecting from the church walls and feel the very soul of these old wooden instruments played by real people in this sacred place. Something about hearing the strings breathe this fragile beauty into these songs that carry so much pain otherwise. Now looking back, maybe I wrote these versions just for myself to be able to hear and feel at least some kind of a beauty and solace in these songs, maybe…"
He continues: "I wanted to create the cover art of this album myself this time, so it would stand as brutally honest for me as the music is. So I painted the moon on the Moonflowers cover with my own blood and I decorated it with the flowers I picked up and dried on the spring of 2016. Maybe it isn’t the most outstanding looking piece of art ever made in this world, but for me it is everything. I wasn’t going to write any new music before I would have moved towards the right direction in my life, but finally all this music just forced itself out of me during the long nights of this hope crushing and never ending lockdown prison. Something grew out from that void eventually and writing these songs made me think a lot about moonflowers that bloom at the darkest hour of the night, so that name felt right to call the album also."
At the same time keyboard player Jani Peuhu has been forced to step back from touring with the band this time round.
"Sadly, Corona virus messed up everything including the release schedules of my bands," he explains. "Both the Mercury Circle and Swallow The Sun albums are being released at the same time, making it impossible for me to tour with both bands. For this reason, I decided that it’d be better for me to solely focus on MC for this release cycle. That being said, the upcoming Swallow The Sun album will be amazing, and I am so happy we could still do it together. I wish the best of luck to StS on their tour with it!"
Swallow The Sun: Moonflowers
1. Moonflowers Bloom In Misery
3. Woven Into Sorrow
4. Keep Your Heart Safe From Me
5. All Hallows' Grieve (Featuring Cammie Gilbert)
6. The Void
7. The Fight Of Your Life
8. This House Has No Home