Hanging Garden – Blackout Whiteout (2015)


Constantly evolving over the years, Hanging Garden returns with a very atmospheric release titled “Blackout Whiteout”. Featuring nice tracks of pure melancholy, the band manages to combine elements from Theatre of Tragedy (“Aegis” era), Anathema (their transition period), Katatonia (their more recent stuff) and throw in some Cure/ShamRain elements just for kicks. This release still keeps the growls in the mix, allowing the album to be harsh and brutal when needed, but it is mostly very melancholic and mellow.

Opening with the enticing “Borrowed Eyes”, we are instantly swept by Toni Toivonen’s moody clean and harsh vocals. This track also pulls you in with its subtle bass guitar line and keyboards. The band is always in motion and the very Cure-like rocking anthem “Whiteout” further shows their evolution since the band’s harsh and bleak Death/Doom days from “Inherit the Eden”. However, the depressive atmosphere is still present in a very unique and refined way.

The album’s first single “Embers” captures some of their past Melodic Death/Doom elements in the heavy riffs, but the vocals change the mood very efficiently. Experimenting a bit with more atmospheric pieces, “Eclipse” nicely creates a lush palette of subtle atmospheric elements and very minimalistic percussions, and a crushing ending. The album’s flow is a bit strange, but manages to work very well as they insert pieces like the Anathema-esque Atmospheric Rock piece “Aoede” right next to the heavy riffs of the melodramatic “Unearth”.

Toni’s versatility is perfectly demonstrated in the moody “My Rise is Your Fall”, which reminded us of multiple bands, but yet has the Hanging Garden style written all over it at the same time. Closing the album with another experimental and atmospheric piece with harsh moments in “Blackout”, the band leaves us with a very solid release that is a testament to their constant efforts to be unique and evolve. If you like atmospheric music that challenges you, but rewards you with a great atmosphere and a very moody vibe, look no further and get a copy of “Blackout Whiteout”.

Band: Hanging Garden Album: Blackout Whiteout

Label: Lifeforce Records

Release: September 25th, 2015 (Europe) / October 16th, 2015 (North America)

Official Site Social Media

Genre: Atmospheric Metal/Rock

Country: Finland

Rating: 90/100

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