HANGING GARDEN – Blackout Whiteout
Through despair and discord we often bear beautiful sounds – channeling a seemingly difficult set of circumstances into an uplifting creative product. Finnish sextet Hanging Garden have made an impression since their 2004 beginnings, releasing three full-length albums of melodic doom/death with post-metal and gothic/alternative strains. Their latest record "Blackout Whiteout" is another alluring nine song package, hypnotic in spots with serene melodies while occasionally sonically leveling the airspace through churning electric doom riffs.
Dual clean/extreme vocals plus twin guitars and keyboards give Hanging Garden a myriad of starting points to develop, and even bassist Jussi Kirves levels up through the sound barrier for the potent opener "Borrowed Eyes". Slow, sparse keyboards and swirling wind effects give way to The Gathering-oriented guitar parts on "Embers", while "My Rise Is Your Fall" resembles Insomnium meets latter day Katatonia in terms of feel, building emotional context as the guitars, bass, and drums sway to and fro. It shouldn’t be surprising that the abstract art also captures the band’s alternative outlook visually – seeking to inspire and prepare the listener for something unique.
Scandinavia churns out this melancholic doom/death by the truckload – yet the quality act to act cannot be denied. Hanging Garden appeal to the fringes, the misunderstood, those who wish to be heard but often remain lost in the shadows. "Blackout Whiteout" contains a wealth of ideas and multiple layers to explore for an intense, life-altering record.