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Hanging Garden: Blackout Whiteout

Gloomy, gothic Finns have some second thoughts

After a decade of melodic doom, Finland’s Hanging Garden have decided it’s time to cultivate a new sound.

Many doom elements are still there, along with those lush soundscapes, but new influences of post-metal and shoegaze are now very audible. In fact, the elegant programming on Eclipse sounds like it’s come straight from The Cure’s dreamy Disintegration. Toni Toivonen even reserves his trademark growls only for special moments, such as on Words That Bear No Meaning.

Instead, his clean vocals dominate most of the album, giving it a gothic rock vibe. But the most striking thing isn’t the indulgent guitar passages or those beautiful harmonies: it’s how much it sounds like Paradise Lost.

Hanging Garden’s previous albums took inspiration from Gothic and Draconian Times, but Blackout Whiteout strides into One Second and Symbol Of Life territory. In fact, it’s often easy to forget you’re not listening to Paradise Lost. And that’s how good it is.

Natasha Scharf

Dark prog (and chocolate) fan Natasha has been a Prog regular since 2009. News Editor between 2014 and 2019, now Deputy Editor, she is the only member of the team to have appeared on Prog's cover.