Crimson Swan – Unlit

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8/10 – review by Jabawock

Crimson Swan is a young Death/Doom band from Hamburg, Germany. They bring forth their debut full-length album, “Unlit”, preceded only by one EP in 2012. This album has been released on March 13th by a small German label from the same city, called Quality Steel. Although I’m not familiar with their first EP, I had the opportunity to see the band live a couple of years ago, and was left with a rather good impression. Thus I was curious to hear what they would bring on this album, and I was not disappointed.

The style of Crimson Swan lies in the realm of slower, melodic Death/Doom, in the vein of such bands as Saturnus, Funeral (later period), Mourning Beloveth,… They don’t bring anything new to this already well-established genre, but they do things just right, and the result is quite pleasing to hear! The music is filled with melodies, alternating between guitar and piano leads, with light keys in the background. The compositions are simple and straightforward; no sudden tempo changes, no surprises… making the music somewhat elegant, flowing smoothly along its destined path. The vocals vary between growls and clean singing, with the occasional addition of clean female vocals as well. All this gives out a gentle, bittersweet taste, which was very much to my liking.

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In short, I really enjoyed this album! It’s one of those releases that is exactly what it pretends to be, in this case being high quality Death/Doom material, and therefore I found in it exactly what I was looking for. Despite running for 54 minutes without notable variation in style, I can’t say this album gets boring, as the music is just so pleasant to listen to. I recommend this record to all fans of Death/Doom, and especially of the aforementioned bands; it might not blow your mind, but you won’t lose your time either!

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