The third album from these Finnish no-futurists is their slickest and most melodic yet. It’s also their first outing with new vocalist Jussi Hämäläinen, who – with his mastery of both clean and growling styles – is as good as, if not better than, his predecessor Ari Nieminen.
Formed in 2004, and not to be confused with the US black metal act of the same name, The Hanging Garden dredge up a dirgy blend of doom, gothic and melodic death metal, tinged with a touch of post-rock and even alternative rock (they’ve got a song called The Cure, who themselves have a song called The Hanging Garden).
With echoes of everything from Paradise Lost and Katatonia to Swallow The Sun and Cult Of Luna, it’s both bombastic and artfully atmospheric, its brutal outbursts tempered with a certain sombre serenity. Heavy but heartfelt, smooth in its moves from light to shade and making deft use of dynamics to balance what are often fairly drawn-out pieces, it’s an impressive and engaging effort from a band just hitting their stride.