Hanging Garden - Skeleton Lake (2021)


Returning with an even more bombastic and yet misery inducing release, today we have Finland’s Hanging Garden and their latest effort “Skeleton Lake”. Moving a bit away from their traditional old-school Death/Doom Metal, the band steps in territories pioneered by bands like Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy, etc. with the addition of more Gothic/Pop-ish elements in the 46 minutes of music. If you like well crafted melodic, catchy and engaging music with diverse influences, this release will bring the band close to the previously mentioned bands.

Opening with the lush and bombastic “Kuura”, new female vocalist Riikka Hatakka shines as her sweet voice is the perfect contrast to heavy distorted guitars and energetic growls. While the atmospheric component of the band’s sound is still present and the mournful melodic riffs are there, tracks like “Faith”, “Nowhere Haven”, and “Winter’s Kiss” add extra Gothic-like elements alongside additional catchiness. The use of clean male vocals also gives the band a certain To/Die/For edge, making their sound more dynamic than before.

In terms of our favorite tracks, we love the dark ballad-esque “When the Music Dies” and the melodramatic “Road of Bones” with its piercing piano intro, elegant vocal arrangements and mournful guitars. As you would imagine by now, the band didn’t stray much far from their core sound, but with the extra enhancements we now get crafty songs like “Fields of Reeds” and the devastating “Skeleton Lake”, both delivering the best of both worlds.

As a whole, “Skeleton Lake” is one very well crafted and engaging release from Hanging Garden. The band continues to explore and redefine their sound in very creative ways, adding elements from other bands while maintaining their own signature style. If you like emotive and highly melodic Death/Doom Metal enhanced with some Gothic and lighter elements, this release will be one of your favorites in 2021.

Band: Hanging Garden Album: Skeleton Lake

Label: LifeForce Records

Release: May 21st, 2021

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Genre: Melodic Death/Doom Metal

Country: Finland

Rating: 95/100

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