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Swallow the Sun

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Swallow the Sun
Swallow the Sun at Wave-Gotik-Treffen in 2016
Swallow the Sun at Wave-Gotik-Treffen in 2016
Background information
OriginJyväskylä, Finland
GenresDeath-doom, melodic death metal
Years active2000–present
LabelsFirebox, Spinefarm, Century Media
MembersJuha Raivio
Mikko Kotamäki
Matti Honkonen
Juuso Raatikainen
Juho Räihä
Past membersPasi Pasanen
Kai Hahto
Aleksi Munter
Markus Jämsen
Jaani Peuhu

Swallow the Sun is a Finnish death-doom band founded in 2000 by Juha Raivio. Their death-doom style emphasizes melody and atmosphere, and occasionally steps into gothic and black metal territory. They have released eight full-length albums, one triple album, one EP, one demo, and seven singles.


The Morning Never Came (2003)[edit]

Swallow the Sun was formed in early 2000 by Juha Raivio, soon joined by Pasi Pasanen (both had played together in Plutonium Orange). They rehearsed a couple of songs, one of them being "Through Her Silvery Body" which would end up on their first demo, Out of This Gloomy Light. In 2001, Markus Jämsen, whom Raivio and Pasanen already knew from their earlier bands, joined as a second guitarist, and Mikko Kotamäki from Funeris Nocturnum as singer; then Aleksi Munter (keyboards) and Matti Honkonen (bass), also of Funeris Nocturnum, joined the band. In the spring of 2002 they started arranging songs for the demo Out of This Gloomy Light which was recorded in January 2003 at Sam's Workshop with Sami Kokko, who also mixed the demo.

A record deal with Firebox Records was signed a few months after the recordings of the demo, and Swallow the Sun entered studio at late July 2003. During the following three weeks they recorded their debut album, The Morning Never Came.

Ghosts of Loss (2005)[edit]

In February 2005, Swallow the Sun released their second album, Ghosts of Loss. Their single, "Forgive Her...," gained fourth place on the Finnish Top 20 singles chart in its first week of release, and stayed on the charts for six weeks. Their album entered the charts as well: No. 8 in between Gwen Stefani and System of a Down. Some of the album's songs have connections to the TV show Twin Peaks.

Hope (2007)[edit]

During the year 2006, they signed to Spinefarm Records and did a small European tour. In January 2007 they released their third album, Hope, which includes a cover version of the Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus song "Alavilla mailla" (which they translated into "These Low Lands") as a bonus track on the digipack edition, sung by Tomi Joutsen, the frontman of fellow Finnish metal band, Amorphis. There is also a guest appearance by Jonas Renkse of Katatonia on the song "The Justice of Suffering." They went on a US tour with Katatonia, Scar Symmetry and Insomnium in late 2007.

Plague of Butterflies (2008)[edit]

In September 2008, they released an EP called Plague of Butterflies, followed by a December tour of the UK of ten live shows supporting Apocalyptica.

New Moon (2009)[edit]

On May 18, 2009 Kai Hahto of Wintersun joined Swallow the Sun to fill the void left by former drummer Pasi Pasanen. Kai Hahto did the drums on their next album, entitled New Moon, Produced by Jens Bogren, the album was released on November 10, 2009.

Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (2012)[edit]

The fifth studio album Emerald Forest and the Blackbird was released February 1, 2012, via Spinefarm Records. The lead single for the album, "Cathedral Walls", featured vocals by former Nightwish singer Anette Olzon. The song "Labyrinth of London" features guest vocals by Raivio's partner Aleah Stanbridge.

Songs from the North I, II & III (2015)[edit]

Swallow the Sun released the triple album Songs from the North I, II & III on November 13, 2015. Each of the three album discs embodies a different facet of the band's style: Gloom, Beauty, and Despair. Juuso Raatikainen replaced Kai Hahto as full-time drummer on this album, as Hahto was working on Nightwish's 2015 album Endless Forms Most Beautiful and subsequent tour in place of Jukka Nevalainen. However, Hahto has not been kicked out or resigned.[1]

Lumina Aurea (2018)[edit]

Swallow the Sun's only non-album single was released on December 21, 2018, titled "Lumina Aurea", featuring Wardruna's Einar Selvik and The Foreshadowing's Marco I. Benevento. The track embodies Raivio's bereavement and other emotions he experienced after the death of his partner Aleah Stanbridge in 2016. It contains the title track and additionally an instrumental version of the track.[2]

When a Shadow Is Forced into the Light (2019) and 20 Years of Gloom, Beauty and Despair – Live in Helsinki (2021)[edit]

In November 2018, the band announced their seventh album, When a Shadow Is Forced into the Light, and its track list on their official Facebook page. The album was released on January 25, 2019, through Century Media Records. It focuses on the death of Raivio's partner Aleah Stanbridge, Raivio's mourning, and his life since Stanbridge's death. The title of the album is a quote by Stanbridge, which was also a lyric in the song "Broken Mirrors" by her and Raivio's band Trees of Eternity.[3]

On May 28, 2021, the band announced their first live album. The occasion is the 20th anniversary of their debut album Gloom, Beauty and Despair.[4] 20 Years of Gloom, Beauty and Despair – Live in Helsinki was released on April 20. The album was recorded live on February 26, 2020, at Tavastia Club, Helsinki on their 20th anniversary tour. The first eight tracks are an acoustic set that includes the entire second part of the Songs From The North album. The other songs were selected via a fan poll on social media asking fans for their favorite songs from the rest of the albums.[5]

Moonflowers (2021)[edit]

Swallow The Sun's eighth studio album, titled Moonflowers was released on November 19, 2021, featuring strings recorded by the string trio, Trio N O X. The band subsequently announced their North American and European tour promoting the album's release, followed by a Latin American tour in early 2023.




Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Heat
The Morning Never Came
  • Released: November 15, 2003
  • Label: Firebox
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
Ghosts of Loss
  • Released: August 24, 2005
  • Label: Firebox
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
  • Released: February 7, 2007
  • Label: Spinefarm
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
New Moon
  • Released: November 10, 2009
  • Label: Spinefarm, Svart
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
Emerald Forest and the Blackbird
  • Released: February 1, 2012
  • Label: Spinefarm, Svart
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
Songs from the North I, II & III
  • Released: November 13, 2015
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
7 52 20
When a Shadow Is Forced into the Light
  • Released: January 25, 2019
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
1 33 12
  • Released: November 19, 2021
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, download


Title Details Peak chart positions
Plague of Butterflies
  • Released: September 17, 2008
  • Label: Spinefarm
  • Formats: CD, LP, download


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing release year and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Forgive Her..." 2005 24 Ghosts of Loss
"Don't Fall Asleep (Horror Pt. 2)" 2007 16 Hope
"New Moon" 2009 New Moon
"Silent Towers" 2012 Emerald Forest and the Blackbird
"Lumina Aurea" 2018
"Woven into Sorrow" 2021 Moonflowers
"Enemy" 2021 Moonflowers

Music videos[edit]

  • "Descending Winters" (2005)
  • "Don't Fall Asleep" (2007)
  • "Doomed to Walk the Earth" (2007)
  • "Falling World" (2009)
  • "Cathedral Walls" (2012)
  • "Rooms and Shadows" (2015)
  • "Lumina Aurea" (2018)
  • "Firelights" (2019)
  • "Woven into Sorrow" (2021)
  • "Enemy" (2021)
  • "The Void" (2021)
  • "This House Has No Home" (2021)


  • Out of This Gloomy Light (2003)


  1. ^ "Swallow the Sun". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  2. ^ Wilson, Fraser (21 December 2018). "EP REVIEW: Lumina Aurea – Swallow The Sun". Distorted Sound Magazine. Retrieved 18 May 2024.
  3. ^ "Swallow the Sun". swallowthesun.net. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  4. ^ metalshockfinland SWALLOW THE SUN Announce Live Album "20 Years Of Gloom, Beauty And Despair – Live in Helsinki", Retrieved May 31, 2021
  5. ^ doomed-nation.com Swallow The Sun announce their first ever live album »20 Years Of Gloom, Beauty And Despair – Live in Helsinki«, Retrieved May 31, 2021
  6. ^ a b "Finnish charts portal". finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  7. ^ "Discographie Swallow the Sun". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  8. ^ "Swaalo the Sun Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  9. ^ "Albumit 47/2021" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  10. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Swallow the Sun". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 251. Retrieved 18 June 2022.

External links[edit]