Published on Friday, 08 February 2013 16:09
Band: Hanging Garden
Album title: At Every Door
Release date: 21 January 2013
Label: Lifeforce Records
01. Ten Thousand Cranes
02. Ash And Dust
05. At Every Door
06. The Cure
08. To End All Ages
At Every Door, the third album from Finnish band Hanging Garden is a melancholic, turbulent and very picturesque sonic adventure, that could ease your pain while you're waiting for death. The band has already shown with their previous two albums that they can produce amazing melancholic and highly emotional music, but this album is absolutely above everything they ever did. Maybe also thanks to the line up changes that they've endured lately, there is a new vocalist, drummer and bassist, but what's most noticeable change are marvelous song structures and formidable sense for creating great emotional and still heavy music. All of this is yet not such a surprise as some members are involved also in some other great acts like ShamRain, The Chant or Clockwork Spirit.
Hanging Garden are setled within doom metal, but the things are not that simple. They're not inventing anything new, rather than that they are masterfully manipulating with the most elegant emotions within dark music spectrum ever done. A lot of things smell of The Cure, bands name (remember the song "The Hanging Garden" from The Cure's album Pornography), sixth song title and much more. Now try to imagine the atmosphere of most melancholic songs from The Cure mixed with some early Paradise Lost and add just a little of later Katatonia, Swallow The Sun, some post metal, shoegaze, death metal and post rock elements, can you imagine that? Hanging Garden have carefully mastered each element and created an epic album with eight outstanding tracks. Each song can make a special moment, of course heard in the right mood, it can take you into the most subtle and painful emotional state ever witnessed. As the album starts with "Ten Thousand Cranes" the band shows immediately an outstanding power, cold atmosphere that just draws you into this obscure abyss of At Every Door. Amazing vocals, so be it when they are harsh, clean, spoken, screamed or even multi-parted, it's great and it fits perfectly with postponed instrumentation. Each vocal form gives a lot of emotion, the duals between deep raspy harsh and clean vocals are breathtaking, just listen for example to "Ash And Dust". Guitar work is perfect, great melodies, strong riffs, with sometimes almost typical classic rock chords and acoustic parts. There are no pretentious solos, and believe me, nobody will miss them, still you can enjoy in some splendid melodic leads, like at the last part of "Hegira". Rhythm section is professionally giving the special flow and drive to each song. Not to mention amazing synth work, which just implements the dark gothy feeling this album offers.
There is even time for some comfort when post rocking "Wormwood" takes its part, with some shoegaze elements and overall clean singing, and this feeling deepens when the title track with its elegant and warm ambiances is trying to prepare you for some real, almost psychedelic, doom metal experiment that follows with epic "The Cure", still highly melodic, it reminded me a bit to USA based doomsters Daylight Dies, mixed with Ghost Brigade and a hint of emotional heaviness from The Foreshadowing. "Evenfall" is anothery story per se, as in this track you can hear some greatly incorporated hammond organ sounds, but the interesting thing is how the band managed to make such an outstandingly flowing, just five minutes long track, with elements from post-rock, doom, there are even some industrial and black metal signs mixed into an extravagant, yet powerful, but still very dark and emotive massive track. Everything ends with another epic, over ten minutes long masterpiece "To End All Ages". All the sadness, melancholy and darkness reaches it's high point in here. Amazing.
The pace is always slow to mid paced. The massive wall of sound often gently converts into highly emotive soundscapes. There are even some complex parts, but used in a way that don't distract the listener, songs on At Every Door have a certain groove. Production is done well, as is the mixage. Lyrics just deepens the dark atmosphere and depressive feeling with its apocalyptic view on the world dominated by humans and a balefully future. Even nice, though simple, mystical cover artwork talks for itself.
At Every Door is one of those records that needs a devoted listener, otherwise it won't make such an impact on you as it should, it's not your everyday listen, but I'm sure this album will find the audience which will appreciate the work like this that doesn't follow any trends, although it has still that special Nordic coldness and flavour. The last time that I witnessed to such an emotional album was when The Foreshadowing released Second World and at some point At Every Door demonstrates again that not everything was said and done within the genre called doom metal.
Review written by: T.V.