Few bands have developed as much in recent years with so much output as Hanging Garden. Repeated moults drove the Finns more and more into more modern, dark realms, whereby the small formats left plenty of room for experiments in between. For the length of the album, on the other hand, the highest concentration applies to comparatively gentle, yet determined further development. „The Garden“ ventures even further into bittersweet gloom without forgetting its Death Doom roots.
Everything comes together in the best sense of the word in the opening title song as it gradually gets longer. For more than six minutes, Hanging Garden feel their way forward, in the now popular antiphonal song, which of course later turns into infernal growls. The basic mood, on the other hand, remains relaxed and reduced. Comparatively modern melodic interludes give the gloom a sweet aftertaste. On the other hand, the subsequent “The Four Winds” exudes a pleasantly nervous energy, seems aggressive and sprinkles in individual screams – another exciting facet, somewhat modernized and yet at the same time fitting perfectly with the familiar sound robe.
It remains to be seen whether this counts as a fresh cell cure or not, because the septet in no way says goodbye to those sounds that give them that certain something. In “The Journey” Hanging Garden raise several almost impenetrable death-doom walls, as majestic as they are destructive. The melodic black ribbon above it is good, as is Riikka Hatakka’s buttery singing as a counterpoint. In “The Resolute” there are even hints of semi-balladesque traits at times, at least until the next scream goes through your bones and skilfully alienates the gothic vibes.
Consistency seems to be the key to Hanging Garden’s success. The consistent and at the same time entertaining intensification of one’s own musical appearance knows how to entertain. All in all, even more melodic textures and light moments creep into the Finns’ sound, but at the same time they fit perfectly into the odd, at the same time much more catchy mix. “The Garden” is basically based on Death Doom, little has changed about that, only Dark, Gothic and more modern Melodic Death approaches are given a little more space. The result speaks for itself – even on their eighth album and after 19 years together, Hanging Garden remain a creative and overwhelming institution.
Available from: 03/24/2023
Available through: Agonia Records
Category: Magazin, Reviews